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Commerce and Traditions. Conference

14th Conference of the SIEF Ritual Year Working Group "Commerce and Traditions"

1 – 4 June 2022, Riga (Latvia)
Deadline for proposals – 25th February 2022.


The impact of product marketing is visible in everyday life, including a wide range of traditions and festivities, which have lately become highly commercialized. In marketing terms, the values of traditional culture are considered “products” to be branded, marketed and sold. We have all experienced the pre-Christmas gift buying madness and have visited souvenir counters at major historical sites and cultural venues in different countries, each promoting their “brands”. Historically, annual church markets, fairs and pilgrimages attracted people from great distances, providing opportunities to buy, sell, and trade durable goods in addition to food and drink required by pilgrims and merchants. Additional items, such as religious symbols, protective objects, and healing substances were available much as in modern souvenir shops. The means for advertising such objects for sale were, at that time, limited. Today advertising and marketing campaigns appear everywhere. Many people protest against what they perceive as excessive commercialization of their favourite secular or religious festivals. However, marketing practices attract larger crowds and help to preserve and popularize traditions that might otherwise be lost. Commercialization has made the sale of traditional crafts financially viable, preserving them for future generations. Thus, craftspeople can continue practicing their traditional arts and crafts. Not only have the traditional artisans benefited, but religious institutions have witnessed an increase in income, which is needed to maintain the facilities visited by the growing numbers of visitors. New forms of commercialization of rituals with the developing practices of creating new festivals and making them local tourist brands can be seen in many geographical areas.

This conference aims to investigate and evaluate the impact of marketing practices on traditions and rituals, and to consider the changes commercialization has brought about – both positive and negative – in the past, as well as in the present.

Applicants are encouraged to
focus on the following topics:
Conference website:
Conference venue:
The conference will take place in Riga as an in-person event and a vaccination certificate of Covid-19 for participants will be required. The option for virtual presentations will be ensured.
National Library of Latvia
Mūkusalas iela 3, Rīga


For participants, a Covid-19 vaccination certificate, RNA test taken within 72 hours before entry into the country, or an antigen test was taken within the past 48 hours before entry into the country will be required. As the situation related to Covid-19 is varying, please follow to updated information about traveling to Latvia on the website:
All persons traveling to Latvia must fill out an electronic form on the website not earlier than 48 hours before entering Latvia and provide the requested information concerning
vaccination, testing, or recovery from COVID-19.
The vaccination, testing, or recovery from COVID-19 is confirmed using the digital EU Covid certificate (in a smart device, or paper format), accepted by many third countries. For more information on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Latvia homepage.

Last time modified: 31.03.2022 21:23:40