Continuing Home

The ongoing saga of a Continuing Anglican church home, as seen by a member of the laity.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Joninės (Lithuanian midsummer)

This afternoon I looked up "midsummer" and, thanks to our new Lithuanian Christian connection, had my attention brought to this on Wikipedia and I thought I'd share it at least with fellow parishioners who read this blog (if you want more, including links, go here):

See also: Saint Jonas' Festival

Midsummer is commonly called John's Day (Joninės) in Lithuania, and is also known as Saint Jonas' Festival, Rasos (Dew Holiday), Kupolė, Midsummer Day and St. John's Day. It is celebrated in the night from the 23rd of June to the 24th of June and on the 24th June. The traditions include singing songs and dancing until the sun sets, telling tales, searching to find the magic fern blossom at midnight, jumping over bonfires, greeting the rising midsummer sun and washing the face with a morning dew, young girls float flower wreaths on the water of river or lake. These are customs brought from pagan culture and beliefs. The latter Christian tradition is based on the reverence of Saint John. Lithuanians with the names Jonas, Jonė, Janina receive many greetings from their family, relatives and friends.

Personally "jumping over bonfires" evokes a memory of Persian Nowrooz preparations (preparations for spring equinox), but maybe Vilia can educate us further...? I'd love to know more!

Sadly, I will be "on the road again" at that time and not back until July.


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