On the last Saturday in August, the night of ancient fires, traditional bonfires will be lit at sunset on the beaches of Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and other Baltic Sea countries; this year, the bonfires are lit not only to celebrate freedom and unity, but also to stand against Russian aggression in Ukraine and to show support for Ukrainian freedom fighters.
“Historically, the Baltic Sea has always been a uniter, and today we are more united than ever before – in our support for Ukraine, in our values, in our courage,” Mairold Vaik, the leader of the initiative, said in a blog post.
“Our thoughts are with the millions of Ukrainians who are forced to flee their homes and who are fighting today for their independence and for the values that are important to us. The chain of fires stretching from the shores of the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea is a symbolic confirmation for Ukrainians and the whole world that we are united.”
All the Baltic Sea countries are invited to join the chain of lights of the night of ancient fires. In Poland, bonfires will be lit both on the coast of the Baltic Sea and on the banks of the Wisla and San rivers, in Ukraine along the Dniester River, which flows through Ukraine and Moldova to the Black Sea. Bonfires of all sizes are welcome to participate in the chain of fires, whether lit by larger groups or individuals.
“The tradition of lighting fires on the last Saturday of August is inspired from medieval bonfires that were lit on the coast to convey messages of warning and guide ships to ports. Today we light bonfires by the sea to symbolically signal to each other: we stick together and we are in positive mood,” Valk said.
This year, the seaside bonfires will be lit at sunset on August 27.