It is almost time for Midsummer celebration of Līgo in Latvia and in its honor we wanted to let you in on how it is celebrated!
Līgo or Jāņi is a celebration during the summer solstice when the night is the shortest. It is the largest and most traditional holiday of the Latvian people, celebrated by all generations and all groups of society.
Celebration can slightly vary in regions but festive spirit is always high. Do you have similar traditions?
5 facts about Midsummer celebration in Latvia
1. Braiding leaf and flower wreaths
Men's wreaths are always made of oak leaves, but women's wreaths are braided from a variety of meadow flowers, married wives also incorporate oak leaves.
On sunset bonfire is lit and kept until sunrise. It is a famous tradition to jump over the bonfire, thus symbolically clearing everything superfluous.
3. Traditional food
Homemade cheese is a must have! The yellow roll of cheese is a symbol of sun. There are many variations but the most famous one is with caraway seeds.
Each sauna broom has its own meaning. The oak leaf broom gives clarity of thought, the birch broom relaxes the body and gives new strength, but the juniper broom frees from everything bad and unnecessary.
5. Awake all night
It is tradition to stay awake all night and wait for sunrise. Shortest night of summer sometimes can be only few hours.