NGO • Social and culture projects • Volunteering center


Preparing for the festival “Count of May 2023”

This year, for the thirteenth year in a row, the Cultural Society “Alternative Reality” together with volunteers from Latvia, Poland, Armenia, Ukraine, Scotland, Cyprus and even distant Guinea is implementing the annual multicultural festival “Maija Grafa svetki 2023”

On May 21, the festival will take place in Ziedondarzs in the center of Riga as the brightest and most magnificent event of spring and will be held for the 13th time in a row!
This will be a day dedicated to people, the history of the city of Riga and the present, expressions of human creativity and the interaction of different cultures over the centuries.
Born an astonishing 550 years ago, the Count of May festival celebrates the rich history of the city of Riga and includes a variety of activities such as musical and artistic performances, a costume contest, a fire show, workshops and activities for children and adults. There will also be a tournament to elect this year’s Count of May: a series of challenges to the participants’ skills. The winner with the highest score will be named the 2023 Earl of May and will have the opportunity to elect his own May Countess, making the couple part of an ancient tradition that symbolizes love, fertility and courage for a whole year. Today, ancient cultural traditions are connected with multicultural and modern carnival trends, together creating a unique Riga festival that attracts more than 7,000 visitors every year.

Preserving the centuries-old tradition of Riga’s cultural heritage “Maija grafa svetki”, the Culture Society Alternative Reality has been the organizer of the festival for the 13th year in a row.

“Multicultural festival – for us it means acceptance and support of various cultural forms and expressions of creativity. Cultural heritage, legends and traditions of different cultures and nationalities, people’s ability and desire to express themselves creatively make the world brighter, people more open, society more cohesive” – ​​says Irina Kurpniece, one of the organizers of the festival, chairman of “Alternativa realitate”.
The festival will also have a place for local and emerging musical and performing talents, providing a stage for musical groups, performers, choirs, who will voluntarily give their performances to the public. The festival as a whole is managed, organized and implemented by volunteers who invest their time and soul, dedicate their skills and knowledge to the needs of the festival, in order to create the most pleasant feeling and positive emotions for those attending the festival.

“Thanks to the European Solidarity Corps program, we have the opportunity to involve not only local enthusiasts in the organization of the festival, but also to invite young people from all over Europe. Volunteers get a great opportunity to dedicate their efforts to organizing a public cultural event that helps people become more united, better understand and support each other,” says volunteer coordinator Natalija Savina.

Free entrance and participation in most activities of the festival, as well as in tournaments and costume contest.

Welcome to the Count of May 2023!”

Co-financed by the European Union. This publication reflects only the views and opinion of the author, and not necessarily the opinion of the European Union, the European Commission or the National Agency (Youth International Programs Agency), which are not responsible for any use of the information contained therein