On the occasion of national days of eight Baltic and Nordic states (NB8 – Nordic-Baltic Eight) the embassies of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden organised a joint reception on June 16 in the New Town Hall in Prague. The uniting theme is the summer solstice, which is celebrated by all Baltic and Nordic countries, thus the reception takes place every year around this date.
Baltic and Nordic states ambassadors held opening speeches which were followed by a version of united anthem based on the anthems of each of the states. Greeting speeches were given by the deputy prime minister of Czech Republic, Pavel Bělobrádek, and the minister of foreign affairs, Lubomír Zaorálek. The minister of foreign affairs expressed his gratitude to Latvia and especially to the minister of foreign affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, as Latvia is in charge of NB8 this year and also succesfully leads the Visegrad Group.
Minister Zaorálek also mentioned that this gahering is indeed being held close to the summer solstice, which used to be celebrated in almost all of Europe, but only in Baltic and Nordic states did these celebrations survive until today. It would be very nice to see these traditions restored in Czechia and other countries in Europe.
Among the visitiors of the event were the members of the Parliament and Government of the Czech Republic as well as politicians, representatives of local authorities, foreign diplomats, businessmen, people from the cultural field and Latvian diaspora. National tables with national cuisine and beverages were very popular among the visitors.