RIGA - Today, people worldwide are preparing for the year's quietest but brightest time - Christmas Eve, when they wish joy, love, peace and harmony to and for each other.
In Latvia, Christmas Eve traditionally is spent in a family circle without large commotion. Candles will be lit in fir-trees, songs sung and poems recited to receive gifts from Santa Claus.
Many will attend Christmas services in Lutheran, Catholic and other denomination churches tonight.
As former President Vaira Vike-Freiberga once said, whether celebrated as the birth of Jesus Christ or the winter solstice - according to a person's wishes and world view, Christmas is a vivid and strong tradition in Latvia, which cannot be forced upon anyone or forcibly taken away.