On 2 and 3 September in the north Czechia town of Náchod the so called Courland Festivities were held. These festivities are being organised in honour of a former duke of Courland, Peter von Biron, who used to stay at the Náchod chateau at the end of 18th century. 10 years ago historian Věra Vlčková initiated the formation of Courland festivities in Náchod.
The Courland festivities were started by a concert of Riga Saxophone Quartet conducted by prof. Artis Sīmanis and accompanied by a soloist of Latvian National Opera, Kristīne Gailīte, in St. Lawrence Church. At the anniversary festivities a dance ensemble Mēmelīte consisting of young dancers from Latvian town Bauska also performed with their dynamic national dances. Representatives of partnership towns – German Halberstadt, Polish Kudowa-Zdrój and Latvian Bauska – attended the festivities.
On 3 September visitors might have seen a dramatised arrival of the duke of Courland and his family, concerts performed at the stages in chateau courtyards and a traditional craft market. Riga Saxophone Quartet and Kristīne Gailīte also performed on the second day. At the Chateau of Náchod they played pieces of Latvian, Czech and other world famous composers. Several hundred visitors have attended the festivities.
The Ambassador of Republic of Latvia, Alberts Sarkanis, gave a letter of appreciation to the member of the Parliament of the Czech Republic and mayor of the town of Náchod, Jan Birke, and the historian Věra Vlčková and paid tribute to the director of the Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism of the town of Náchod, Roman Toušek, and his colleague Iveta Hánová.
Courland Festivities are organised by the town of Náchod and this year also in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia in the Czech Republic.