On October 8 from 9:00 till 16:00 in Valmiera – in the stretch from Katrīnas Street till Ziloņu Street on Rīgas Street, in the Town Square and in the territory of the Livonian Order castle – the smell of delicacies will tickle your nose, practical and beautiful items will feast your eyes, songs will be sang and stories will be told, and the autumn will be greeted with dances and lots of laughter. It can mean only one thing – the famous Simjūds Fair is about to begin and everyone – from far and wide – is invited!
Tables will be full of various goods: home-baked bread, pastries, smoked meat, fish, cheese, sweets and treats, magnificent gingerbreads, fresh and dried fruit, nuts. Honey and wax candles will smell truly sweet. Visitors will have an opportunity to buy various goods made out of wax and honey. Also dishes in which edible good can be served, even tables on which to put all that. Also a great selection of chairs will be available. In 2017 the Rīga-Gauja Region, including Valmiera, will become the holder of the title „The European Region of Gastronomy 2017”, therefore, the Simjūds Fair with its rich supply of goods for gourmands of autumn harvest should be marked as one of the introductory events to the year of the European Region of Gastronomy.
Craftsmen and women from all around Latvia will gather in the Simjūds Fair: sewers, weavers, knitters, crochetters, basket-makers, felters. Visitors will have an opportunity to buy good made out of fur, as well as from felt and sheep, rabbit and even doog wool. Individual craftsmen and members of applied arts studios will offer sweaters, scarves, ponchos, blankets and plaids which not only keep you warm, but also are true art pieces.
In the autumn market in Valmiera fruit, plants, decorative plants, natural goods and useful items for household and garden will be supplied.
Jewellery made by skilled jewellers will shine from afar. However, treasures hidden in words ought to be found in one of the many books offered at the fair.
Skilful food-masters of the cafe „Pils ķēķis” will make sure that all hungry-ones have something delicious to fill their bellies. Also in Valmiera well-known lamprey soup from Salacgrīva will be offered to gourmands. By the newly set-up Hanseatic houses everyone will be treated with a cup of hot herbal tea.
The Simjūds Fair is unimaginable without songs, dances and other festive activities. On the open-air stage by the castle ruins from 11:00 till 14:00 everyone is invited to enjoy cheerful songs and be part of the 2nd Storyteller Festival in Vidzeme. A unique musical story will be told by Oskars Patjanko with his harmonica „Ieviņa” and the folk group from Jercēni parish „Mežābele”. Like each year for the past 20 years, also this year the brass band „Signāls” will give performances to the visitors, along with ever-young and joyful singers from the group „Trīnes”.
Among the participants it will be difficult not to notice clowns on stilts who will always have a funny joke to tell or will blow great soap bubbles.
Not to mention that there will also be the typical medieval small theatre plays in the old town. In the newly set-up Hanseatic buildings all visitors are invited to take part in creative and fun activities, learn new crafts, try out minting and reveal various medieval secrets. It should be noted that the melt and the Hanseatic buildings were set up in the framework of the international project „Hanseatic Approach to New Sustainable Alliances”
Our ancestors used to follow the work cycle – until the Miķeļa day everything had to be harvested and stored for the approaching winter. When it was done, it was time to celebrate with big feasts and fairs. Since the medieval times such a fair was organized by the church on the Simon’s day. Simon’s day and Judas’ day marked in the calendar gave the name to the Simjūds fair. In the medieval times it was the oldest fair in the Vidzeme region and the last one before the winter, when people could buy everything they needed for their households and to have fun by singing and dancing.
The Valmiera Museum re-established the ancient tradition of organizing the Simjūds Fair in 1996 and ever since it has once again become an awaited and beloved annual event.
See you on October 8 in the autumn festival – the Simjūds Fair!