542 years of May Count tradition in Riga!

The festival of Count of May arrived from Germany, Scandinavia, Gotland and England, where they were celebrated as spring festivity during Middle Ages. The Count of May, who symbolized the spring, would come into towns and villages with his entourage. The first mentioning about the Count of May celebration in Riga dates back to 15th century, when the count of May was elected in presence of the town council on a stretch of an open space outside the city. The person who won the title of Count of May could keep it for a year, and it was always someone from The Great Guild. The participants of the celebration would go on a festive procession to the Great Guild, where a luscious feast took place.

In the beginning The Blackheads of Riga were electing their own Count of May, but 542 year ago, in 1477 it was agreed that a member of the Great Guild would be appointed as the Count of May, but all his courtiers would become blackheads. The feast was also moved to the house of Blackheads, during which the Count of May had to regale the ladies of Riga.

The Count of May - is the honorary title, which is awarded to the winner of the tournament for one year and confirms that the title holder is the best defender of the city.

Nowadays, the main hero of the festival – the Count of May is determined from a wide range of applicants. It is not easy, and the candidates have to go through a number of tough challenges. These include both fights with swords and shooting with bows and dancing, as well as other challenges that currently remain as a surprise for participants.

Obtaining an honorary title for one year, the Count of May is entitled to give his beloved lady the title of Countess of May, and with him to become a symbol of the holiday until the following year.

The count of May celebration awaits you with a charming medieval tale of knights tournaments, bow shooting, enchanting ladies, fighting, dance performances, costume contests, medieval attractions, theater performances, museum visits and photo sessions!

See the program >>

Tournament for children and juniors "Sies Rolands cup 2019"

During the festival children will have a possibility to take part in children's knight tournaments. Children aged from 7 to 17 years can take part in this competition and it is free of charge.

By organizing these tournaments, we support the School of Knights of Riga. For more than two years the orphanage students from Riga and children from Riga social centers for free visit the children Knights School sports training, with an interest in studying the knight’s ethics, morality, discipline and code of honor.

Children and youth from 7 to 17 years of age can learn for free the traditions and martial arts of knights, dance, ethical values, discipline, traditional foundations of public morality and social communication skills.
With the help of psychologists children become aware and appreciate the timeless values such as respect for one another, men's path in life, the support and protection of the weakest. In the form of game children learn the moral and ethical principles, get acquainted with the art and cultural history, raise self-discipline and open their creative potential, which opens up new possibilities in their lives and allows reaching for higher moral criteria.

Dancing and fencing are always regarded as physical activities of the aristocracy. They make it possible to develop muscles, posture, reaction speed and coordination. Dancing and fencing lessons help children develop both an outer and inner beauty and grace. Knight school allows the child to develop not only physically, but also mentally. One of the objectives of the project is to show your child that there are many interesting opportunities for development, to create a positive alternative to the negative criminal street subculture values.

VIII annual historical costume stylization contest 
Modern Renaissance 2019 

Traditionally during the Count of May festival a competition of the best medieval costume stylization is announced.

This is a wonderful opportunity to welcome spring and the sun, adorning the streets of Riga with your image and attracting attention from the festival visitors, tourists, the press and television. That is only your fantasy and creativity, your taste and style that can be incarnated in the image, and reflect the splendor and light of your soul.

The winners will receive great prizes from sponsors, professional photo sessions and public support!

At the beginning of festival a parade of participants take place! 
Please be in time - at 12:00 near the main stage and join us! 

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