Every year on the first weekend of June, Riga’s Ethnographic Open Air Museum hosts its applied arts fair, the largest of its kind in the country. Visitors can stroll through a forest dense with tall trees in search of just about any type of handmade craft. From paintings and hand-knit woolen socks to wrought iron hooks and amber jewelry, there is something for just about everyone. Goods made of wood, ranging from children’s toys to furniture, abound, as do hand-woven baskets of all shapes and sizes.
I went to the fair today with some friends from work, hardly believing that a year has already passed since I first visited the fair last June, just a few weeks after we had arrived in Riga. It was nice to visit it a second time, with a better understanding of some of the history and culture behind some of the handicrafts.
Here are some photos of some of the beautiful crafts made by people from all over Latvia.
To browse through crafts in the middle of a forest is a beautiful thing.
The edge of the market runs along this lake. It looked a bit chilly today, but there were a few children swimming in it nonetheless.
When M. and I began our foreign service adventure, we promised each other that we would not become collectors of trinkets and knick-knacks. We decided instead that everything we buy from our travels must either have a practical purpose or go on the wall. We also decided that our one collection piece from each country where we live would be a “Welcome” sign. I have been in search of one since we arrived in Latvia, and I have not found one. Today, I found this instead, and I think the sentiment is the same, if not better.
And here it is, proudly on display in our home next to our memento from our tour in Mexico.
Thank you for visiting!