June 24 - Joninės in Lithuania

Posted on June 24, 2017

Midsummer in England, above,
and Romania, below.
Many European countries are celebrating Midsummer around about
now (see Jāņi in Latvia and Midsummer in Sweden, below, for example). 

Today we will check out the Midsummer festivities in the Baltic country of Lithuania.

People sing songs and dance until the sun sets. 

Then they do some storytelling while waiting for midnight - when they search to find the magic fern blossom. 

Actually, ferns do not flower.
But an old legend says that they do - just for a few
hours at Midsummer's midnight!

Next, they light bonfires - and some people jump over bonfires! 

When the sun rises, they greet it and wash their faces with morning dew. 

Young girls float flower wreaths on whatever lake or river is nearest.

All of those colorful traditions come from Pagan times, but centuries ago, Lithuanians dropped the traditions of offerings and sacrifices to Pagan gods and goddesses and instead recast the holiday as the feast of St. John. That's why it is called Joninės.

Also on this date:

Inti Raymi (Sun Festival) in Peru

Big Numbers Day

(Fourth Saturday in June)

Last weekend in June

Plan ahead:

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