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Presentation on theme: "COMENIUS MULTILATERAL PARTNERSHIPS Prepared by A.Anina, A,Savarina."— Presentation transcript:


2 Christianity spread through Latvia during the ninth through twelfth centuries, with Russian Otthodoxy dominant in the east and Roman Catholism in the west. Most people in the cities are Lutheran. There are also small communities of other faiths, such as Baptist, Old Believers, Pentecostal, Adventist and Jewish. During the last centuries, there have been no serious social confilcts in Latvia based on ethnic or religious differentation. Religious life in Latvia has been unique for its centuries – old variety of religious beliefs with many branches functioning peacefully alongside one another. Latvia’s own oldest relegion is based in a belief of natural deities. These ancient traditions are marks the summer solstice and is still a national holiday.

3 Summer Solstice or Jāņi celebrations date back centuries, when Europeans actively practiced the cult of the Sun. Catholic Church, striving to strengthen its influence among latvians, had declared June 24 as the birthday of John the Baptist (Jānis Kristītājs in Latvian) and that’s how mass celebration of summer solstice shifted to the night of June 23. Ligo festival is held at night from 23rd to 24th of June – the shortest night and longest day of the year. These days officially are holiday days in Latvia.

4 Everyone collects wild flowers in nearby fields and meadows. They are called „Jāņu zāles”. Women then make wreaths out of them. Men called Jānis (John) wear oak leaf wreaths, celebrating their name day. Wreaths are often kept until next year's Jāņi, and then ceremonially burnt on the bonfire to bring good luck.

5 A Midsummer bonfire is lighted. Tradition is to jump over it. The ritual seemingly brings good luck to whoever successfully avoids the flame, and brings prosperity. Traditional Jani songs (Jāņu dziesmas) are sung all through the night sitting by the bonfire. Dancing and fun till the sunrise. When taking part in a Jani celebration it's important to stay awake until dawn– it is said to bring lots of good luck. If you do fall asleep, not only bad luck may come upon you, but you will be mocked by those who managed to stay awake

6 A full table is very important for a successful Jani celebration. Special sort of cheese, that is traditionally made only for Jāņi (Jāņu siers), is obligatory. It is homemade caraway seed cheese. Grilled meat and sausages fresh off the fire, salads, cold soup and other country goods are welcome on the table. Beer, preferably homemade, is the main beverage.

7 Today the festival is Latvia’s favourite holiday. Latvians, those who are living in Latvia and those who are living abroad, are waiting for Ligo for the whole year. Folk dancers, local pop singers and other musicians will perform on an outdoor stage and anyone can join the fun.

8 A Crafts Fair is held on Cathedral Square (Doma laukums) every June 22. You can buy plenty of food and drink as well as Latvian souvenirs and mandatory Midsummer supplies such as flower wreaths for women and oak-leaf wreaths for men. Ethnographic song and dance concerts with plenty of locals in national costume are also a mainstay of the fair.













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