Jāņi is coming

Jāņi is an annual Latvian festival celebrating the summer solstice. I know that solstice usually is on the  21 or 22 of June, but here in Latvia, we have public holidays on 23 June called “Līgo” and 24 June called “Jāņi”.

I can’t imagine celebrating Jāņi in the city. It’s the celebration that requires a countryside. All starts with collecting flowers and oak branches for the wreaths to wear on heads and small birch trees are used for home decoration.

Usually, I’m making Jāņi cheese (but I guess this year I skip) to feel the good old time’s we had together with grandma. She aways made Jāņi cheese. People eat cheese and pierogi and drink beer.

Fire. It’s important to have a Jāņuguns (Jāņi fire). Fires are lit and burned from sunset till next morning. We are leaping over the Jāņuguns to bring good luck and health through the coming year.

Līgodziesmas –  Jāņi songs begin after dinner and continue throughout the night until the rising of the sun. If you are going from one house to another to sing about them it is called – aplīgošana.

I never walked from one house to another but it used to be a big tradition when my grandma was a young girl (before The World War II).

SO… this year… whether I’m celebrating with all the wreaths and decorations or we don’t celebrate at all! It’s hard to decide. We are away from home in the caravan. And maybe it’s good. We can find better meadow for wreaths.





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