Published: 01.07.2024

On Thursday, 4 July, Latvijas Banka is releasing a collector coin Childhood Joy dedicated to the 150th anniversary of writer Vilis Plūdons. It beautifully portrays two cherished and widely recognised children's poems "The Bunny Bathhouse" and "The Dwarves and the Old Man of the Forest". This coin will captivate both children and adults, bringing them back to the cherished moments of their childhood.

Bernu prieki V Pludons AeversBernu prieki V Pludons Revers

Children's poetry by Vilis Plūdons is embedded in Latvian folklore. In his childhood, he was enchanted by both the fairy tales and folk songs his grandmother shared, which he later wove into captivating poetic language, capturing the exuberance of childhood and the splendour of Latvian nature.

The graphic design of the coin has been created by the acclaimed children's book illustrator Anna Vaivare. She has skillfully incorporated the beloved poems "The Dwarves and the Old Man of the Forest" (1913) and "The Bunny Bathhouse" (1915) into this tribute to the literary legacy of Vilis Plūdons. In her rendition of the first poem, the artist has chosen to depict the forest dwarves' frolic as they welcome the first snowfall. The second poem portrays bunnies bathing in the bathhouse, an activity beloved by Latvians in ancient times and today, known for its rejuvenating effects on both body and spirit. Although both poems immerse us in the world of dwarves, bunnies and other forest creatures, we understand that the poet is unfolding narratives of children and their encounters with the marvellous world of nature and traditions, which play a significant role in his literary work.

The experienced artist Ligita Franckeviča is the author of the coin's plaster model.

The Latvian literary classic Vilis Lejnieks (1874–1940), commonly known as Vilis Plūdons, adopted the pseudonym Plūdons at the outset of his literary journey, a name he subsequently formalised as his own surname. He borrowed it from the list of Latvian deities created by poet Auseklis, where Plūdons is revered as the god of waters.

Vilis Plūdons, born in Zemgale, spent his childhood and subsequent summers in the vicinity of the beautiful Mēmele River and amidst the embrace of the surrounding forests. The fields of Zemgale, the neighbourhood of his home and the surrounding forests held a special place in his heart, inspiring many of his poems. Vilis Plūdons enjoyed writing while immersed in nature, surrounded by trees and waters.

Coin Childhood Joy purchase

The collector coin will be available for purchase only on the website from 12:00 (noon) on 4 July.

Price of the coin is 75.00 euro
Purchase limit for one buyer – 4 coins
Mintage of the coin is 4000
The coin was struck by Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt (the Netherlands)