The European Congress of Ethnic Religions in Latvia

18. Eiropas Etnisko reliģiju kongress Latvijā ¹2023/06/29–07/02

The Rīga Declaration — Rīgas deklarācija

About Us

The purpose of the European Congress of Ethnic Religions (ECER) is to serve as an international body that assists Ethnic Religious groups in various countries and opposes discrimination against such groups. By Ethnic Religion, we mean religion, spirituality, and cosmology that is firmly grounded in a particular people's traditions. In our view, this does not include modern occult or ariosophic theories/ideologies, nor syncretic neo-religions.

The first European Congress of Ethnic Religions took place in Vilnius (Lithuania) in 1998, the 10th Congress was held in Rīga-Jūrmala-Sigulda (Latvia) in 2007. We are privileged to announce that the 18th Congress returns to Latvia. We are looking forward to see you in Rīga and Lokstene during the 4 days of the Congress (June 29 – July 2, 2023) in Latvia. Please note that the working language of the Congress is English.

On the Balts' Unity Day, September 22, 2021, the Baltic cultural sphere (the Last Pagans of Europe) celebrated the 1500th anniversary of the foundation of the Rāmava (521), the pivotal holy place common for the Baltic peoples. We, the Dievturi of the religious union Latvijas Dievturu sadraudze (reg. 1929; a member of the ECER), stemming from the first religious organization Latvju dievtuŗu draudze (reg. 1926), celebrate the Centenary of the word Dievturība, i.e., the name of the contemporary continuation of Latvian religion, in 2025. Preliminary events are to be held already in the last quarter of 2024.

Please, feel free to follow our news and updates on social media sites — @Dievturi —, and use the hashtag #2023ECER when publishing or looking for the information about the Congress.


The #2023ECER lasts for 4 days from June 29 (Thursday) to July 2 (Sunday). We suggest arriving on June 28, 2023 to enjoy a socializing Evening Preparty at the pub — the Folkklubs Ala (meeting at around 20:00, address: Peldu iela 19) in the Rīga Old Town. The schedule details will be updated.

Day 1

Working day at the NVO nams (Ieriķu 43a; GPS 56.9662, 24.1850) in Rīga.
09:00–10:00 Registration.
10:00–13:00 The First Half (presentations).
13:00–14:30 Lunch Break.
14:30–18:00 The Second Half (presentations, and discussion on legal recognition matters and the Declaration).
19:00–21:00 The City Center Walking Tour in Evening.

Day 2

Working day at the NVO nams in Rīga.
10:00–13:00 The First Half.
13:00–14:30 Lunch Break.
14:30–16:00 Press Conference with the Adoption of the Declaration.
16:00–17:00 Transfer.
17:00–19:00 Walking Tour at the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum of Latvia (GPS 56.9948, 24.2700) in the Outskirts of Rīga.
19:00–20:00 Transfer Back to the City Center.

Day 3

Ritual day at the Lokstene Shrine (Lokstenes svētnīca; GPS 56.5989, 25.6559), 115 km to the East from Rīga.

09:30–11:30 Transfer by our preordered bus.
11:30–12:00 Restroom and preparation time (a light meal from your own lunchboxes — prepare them in advance if needed).
12:00–12:30 Ferry (3 times) to the Shrine Island.
12:30–13:00 The Shrine Introduction.
13:00–15:00 Ritual time.
15:00–15:45 Guestbook writing and free time.
15:45–16:15 Ferry (3 times) back to the Riverbank.
16:15–19:30 Dinner (soup at the restaurant in two rounds) and free time.
19:30–21:30 Transfer back to the City Center. The schedule of this day may be adjusted.

Day 4

Free day — please watch the Parade of the Latvian Song and Dance Celebration (150th Anniversary, UNESCO World Heritage, GPS 56.9511, 24.1127) in Rīga (10:00–18:00), and take your time for networking with other participants.


The deadline of application was June 2, 2023, the bank transfer proof is to be sent as an attachment to the e-mail address Please note that, in case of the attendee's absence during the Congress, the request for refund (available in the amount of 50 % of the initial payment) is to be sent to the aforementioned e-mail address until June 23, 2023, but the request for refund is not available after this date. The application form for mass media — The further details for participants are published hereafter.

All lunches and dinners, and accommodation costs are paid directly by participants. (Please note that an average accommodation for a night costs € 25–125, whereas an average casual meal is 10–25 per person in Rīga.) The registration fee for the Congress is € 50 per person, which must be paid in advance (deadline of sending the registration fee is April 20th; for any registrations received after April 20th the fee will be 100). If you are attending with a group, every person attending must fill out a separate application form. For any questions or further information, please contact us (see the contact information below).

What is included in the registration fee: the #2023ECER attendee kit (the participant name tag, agenda, Rīga tourism pamphlet and map, the Lokstene Shrine booklet, a mouthful of local liqueur and treats); it also covers the rental fee of the working days' venue and equipment, and bus transfer from Rīga to the Lokstene Shrine and back on Day 3, and other expenses.

Bank details for registration fee transfer:
Registration number: 90000279525
Address: Tēriņu 13, Rīga, LV-1004, Latvia
Account number: LV10HABA0551018486000
Bank name: AS SWEDBANK
Make sure to provide the reference, purpose of payment: 2023ECER

Details for Participants

1) Safety first. Please make sure to have matters of life insurance in check! Have your prescribed medicines with you. Please inform the catering staff if you have food preferences, or allergy. Please be careful and responsible, watch your belongings, and don't leave them unattended. And let us act respectful to each other, and the environment both indoors and outdoors — better safe than sorry.

2) Getting around. In order to get from your hotel to the venue (address: NVO nams, Ieriķu iela 43a, Rīga) on the Day 1 on time, please make sure to check information of the transit directions of city public transportation or taxi options by the Google Maps ( in advance. This is important because, on the Day 1, there is no pre-booked transfer bus from the venue to the City Center Walking Tour in Evening starting at 19:00 in the Latviešu strēlnieku laukums (Latvian Riflemen's Square; GPS 56.9468, 24.1060) in the Rīga Old Town — everyone who wish to join the walking tour (lead by the local tour guide with a microphone, and each participant will be given an receiver with an earphone; note that the same guided tour system will be during the Walking Tour at the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum of Latvia on the Day 2, however, here we have a pre-booked transfer bus to get to the museum and back) has to get there either by public transportation or a taxi.

If you consider using public transportation — we suggest buying the e-talons (the 5-day electronic ticket costs 10 €) in advance — as soon as you arrive to Rīga — in the nearest Narvesen shop or kiosk. As there is a Narvesen in both the international airport, and the international bus terminal, please, do not proceed to the city before buying it. The time starts counting from the moment of the registration in the first ride when touching a ride registration device in a bus, trolleybus or tram. Please, make sure to remember to touch the e-talons to the ride registration device and hear a beep each time when you get on a public transport (there are checks by the transportation authorities empowered to fine free-riders — let them check your e-talons to prove you have registered the ride).

3) Tag. Upon arriving at the venue, you receive the #2023ECER attendee kit including the name tag (a pen and a notebook are not included — make sure to bring these with you). Please, make sure to put the name tag on during all days of the Congress, so that other participants can memorize and recognize you. When publishing contents on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media about the Congress, please add the hashtag #2023ECER

4) Time. Let us respect and appreciate the most precious fortune, which is our time. In order to be on time and proceed according to the schedule, it is better to arrive earlier than to make others wait. On the Day 1, for each organization, there are 12 minutes for the presentation and 3 minutes for answering the questions. Please note that the Congress' working language is English — if the presenter considers to give the speech in another language, the available time shortens by half (6 min and 1.5 min) to interpret into English by a fellow of your group. In order to have a smooth workflow, please forward your presentation file (ppt, pptx, or pdf) to our e-mail address beforehand (using USB is not recommended).

5) Topicthe Rights in One's Native Land. On the Day 1, we encourage presenters to focus exclusively on 1. their group of ethnic religion (focusing on its recent and current state of affairs, without prehistorical or historical emergence etc. side-stories), 2. rituals, 3. challenges or problems, and good practices regarding the Rights in One's Native Land. Please fill the form of the survey (see the link in e-mail), summarizing the current situation in your country, if you have not done it yet — it is important homework for the Declaration — in order to timely summarize both common challenges and good practices of us.

6) Meal. On the Day 1 and Day 2, breakfast and dinner is up to you, whereas lunch will be provided at the venue. You may choose whether to 1. preorder via e-mail a provided lunch option (see 6.1) — to be paid additionally in cash on site), 2. bring your own meal box with you, or 3. order a meal on a mobile app (for example, install the Wolt app beforehand, and place the order about an hour before the meal time) to be delivered to you at the venue. Please, note that there is no restaurant or cafe within or nearby the venue, and due to the number of participants, there is no time for a longer lunch break. On the Day 3, after you have had your breakfast, we proceed to the Lokstene Shrine on an island which is 115 km away from Rīga. We suggest bringing a lunch box with you, if you may feel hungry in the meantime, as the time for dinner will be available after the rituals have ended, it is from around 16:30.

6.1) Provided lunch at the venue for the Day 1 — main dish: Chicken hams in tomato sauce with vegetables, bulgur and carrot, radish salad (Vistas šķiņķīši tomātu mērcē ar dārzeņiem, bulguru un burkānu, redīsu salātiem) or a vegetarian option (to be confirmed), desert: Berry Panna Cotta with fresh cherries and cookie crumbs (Ogu Panna Cotta ar svaigiem ķiršiem un cepumu drupačām). Provided lunch at the venue for the Day 2 — main dish: Breaded pork chop with mashed potatoes, carrots and tomato salad (Panēta cūkas karbonāde ar kartupeļu biezeni, burkāniem un tomātu salātiem) or a vegetarian option (to be confirmed), desert: Strawberry soup with whipped cream (Zemeņu zupa ar putukrējumu). The preorder of both lunches (total 20 € to be paid additionally in cash on site) has to be individually confirmed via the aforementioned e-mail beforehand.

7) Elections. This is the year when the new Board and the new President of the ECER has to be elected. Both the right to vote and the right to be elected are available to the confirmed participant organizations (one vote per organization), who have paid the recent annual ECER membership fee marked in bold hereafter (currently 10 organizations). Each eligible member (one candidate per organization) who can speak English and wishes to compete in the elections shares one's vision regarding the future of the ECER in a 5-minute speech. If you are not yet among the bold ones, but you are willing to be, you should consider joining the full-fledged ECER member organizations by transferring the annual membership fee to the ECER bank account, and thus obtaining both the right to vote and the right to be elected.

8) Ritual. Please be prepared to officiate a short ritual, on the Day 3, according to your tradition, and this Congress' topic. The rituals take place at the Lokstene Shrine of Dievturi in Latvia, consisting of the shrine building with a fire altar on a stone table in its center, and several other objects located on an island in the sacred Daugava River.

9) Free day(s). Please enjoy the precious moments in Latvia, and take your time to travel around visiting several places of interest — expand and explore The Map hereafter. Please do not hesitate to share your impressions on social media with a hashtag #2023ECER, and ask for suggestions regarding both the Dievturi holy places and other places worth visiting. We hope you have pleasant and fruitful experience at the #2023ECER with fellows from near and far! 

The Latvian Song and Dance Celebration schedule:

Confirmed Participants

Arktisk Sjamansirkel (Norway)

Associazione Tradizionale Pietas (Italy)

Česká pohanská společnost (Czech Republic)

Groupe Druidique des Gaules (France)

International Center for Cultural Studies (United Kingdom)

Latvijas Dievturu sadraudze (Latvia)

Latvju dievturu sadraudze (United States)

Lietuvių etninės kultūros draugija (Lithuania)

Mythology Corner (United States)

Об`єднання рідновірів України (Ukraine)

Związek Wyznaniowy Rodzima Wiara (Poland)

Senovės baltų religinė bendrija Romuva (Lithuania)

Sjamanistisk Forbund (Norway)

Slovanský kruh (Czech Republic)

Societas Hesperiana Pro Cultu Deorum (Italy)

Väkikunta (Finland)

Werkgroep Traditie Vzw (Belgium)

Ύπατο Συμβούλιο των Ελλήνων Εθνικών (Greece)

YSEE-Telchines / Ύπατο Συμβούλιο Ελλήνων Εθνικών Ρόδου - "Τελχινίς" (Rhodes, Greece)

Žemaičių rokunda (Lithuania)

You, being a representative of a European ethnic religion, are welcome to be here next time too. Please, contact the ECER!

Supporters and Friends



NVO nams

The Pagan Map

You can become the supporter and friend of the Congress in Latvia. Please, contact us!

The Map

Feel free to extend your stay by traveling to other destinations in Latvia and the neighboring Baltic States. Dievturi shrines (red), Dievturi-related places (black), #2023ECER-related places (green), and other places worth visiting (gray), are shown on the map. Please, check the working hours of venues in advance, and note that many museums are closed on Mondays.