Tag Archives: Jans

today’s holidady: St. John’s Eve and Day (Jans vakars) (Latvia)


St. John’s Eve and Day (Jans vakars) (Latvia)

This Midsummer festival is Latvia‘s greatest feast of the year. It begins on St. John’s Eve, when boys and girls meet in the village squares; the young people gather flowers, herbs, and grasses to make wreaths that will be used in ceremonies the following day. They also practice Ligo songs, which are based on the traditional Latvian daina, a short, unrhymed song in which epic and lyric elements are mixed. Lighting bonfires is also a tradition on St. John’s Night; young people jump over the fires in the belief that it will ensure a good harvest. More… Discuss

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