Tag Archives: Summer Solstice

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

today’s holidady: Ysyakh


Ysyakh

This is a celebration of the midnight sun, observed in the Yakut region in the northeastern part of Russia on and around the Summer Solstice. In 1992 the Yakut Autonomous Soviet Republic became the Republic of Sakha (the Yakut people‘s name for themselves) within the Russian Federation. The festivities during Ysyakh include foot races, horse races, and often sled dog and reindeer races. Folk dancing and feasting—primarily on boiled beef and kumiss, or fermented mare’s milk—complete the celebration, which often goes on all night. More… Discuss