Pori gets to know the festival „The way through the Christmas trees”

In November, in the build-up to Christmas, an exhibition “The Story of Riga’s Christmas Tree” was unveiled in Riga’s friendship city of Pori (Finland), which tells the story of the first decorated Christmas tree and the festival inspired by this legend.

It is a retrospective photo exhibition, featuring a number of the most interesting and unique landscape objects created by Latvian artists over the past nine years, for the festival “The way through the Christmas trees”. 

The author of the exhibition concept is Guntars Kambars, Head of the City Festival Coordination Unit, Riga City Council’s Department of Education, Culture and Sports. The curator of the exhibitions is design expert, Dzintra Purviņa and the designer - Visvaldis Asaris. Juris Kalniņš and Imants Prēdelis created the photos used in the exhibitions.

On unveiling the exhibition, Jyri Träskelin, Head of the Culture Department in Pori said: “We are very pleased that the inhabitants of Pori have the opportunity to learn about the 500 year old legend of the first known decorated Christmas tree, which brought joy to the people of Riga back in 1510. It’s wonderful that, on the back of this legend, the unique landscape object festival “The way through the Christmas trees” has emerged, and we can learn more about it through the photos displayed at this exhibition. We have never seen anything like this before and it definitely inspires us to visit to see the festival in real life”.

During the unveiling of the exhibition, Ainars Baštiks, member of the committee of Riga City Council’s Department of Education, Culture and Sports emphasised: “On marking the anniversary of 55 years of cooperation between both cities, in anticipation of Christmas, we wish to make our friends in Pori happy by making this pre-festive season more colourful, inspirational and filled with true friendships”.

The exhibition compiles photographs of the stylistically different works of art displayed at the festival “The way through the Christmas trees”, revealing both the diversity of ideas and different artistic approaches, while referring to Latvian craft and cultural heritage, ethnography, and highlighting the beauty and attractiveness of Latvian natural materials. The pieces chosen for the exhibition highlight the classic traditions in landscape art as well as experimental ideas, interactivity and sparkling wit and irony. Some of the landscape objects also have a social function and different groups from society are involved in their creation.

The exhibition “The Story of Riga’s Christmas Tree” dedicated to the festival “The way through the Christmas trees” has been organised in Pori by Riga City Council and Riga City Council’s Department of Education, Culture and Sports in cooperation with Riga City Council’s Foreign Affairs Division and the local government of Pori.

Finnish media inform about the festival (in Finnich