Europe

Baltic Midsummer Festival Is Coming to Berlin

The Embassies of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania invite everyone to celebrate the Baltic Midsummer in the garden of the European Academy

June 21st, 2019
Valeriya Kharchenko, News from Berlin
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On June 23, 2019, the Embassies of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania organize the Baltic Midsummer Festival in the garden of the European Academy in Berlin to celebrate the day of summer solstice.

The Feast of Saint John the Baptist (Lat. Jāņi) the most typical of all Latvian festivals that falls on the night of June 23-June 24 (in harmony with the summer solstice), is celebrated according to centuries-long traditions. Jāņi originated as a pagan peasant festival long before Christianity and is still celebrated today. On this longest day and the shortest night of the year, the Latvians weave wreaths of oak leaves and meadow flowers, drink beer and eat caraway cheese, sing, dance and bathe in the steam bath until dawn.

There are many beliefs and traditions associated with the Feast of Saint John the Baptist. It is believed that herbs picked at the solstice have magical and healing powers. For this holiday, the rooms are usually decorated with branches of birch, oak and rowan, ferns, margaret flowers and bluegrass. On the doors one often finds stinging nettles and burs, so that no evil steps over the threshold. Another well-known tradition of Jāņi is jumping over bonfires for spiritual purification.

Everyone is welcome to come and celebrate the Baltic Midsummer Festival in the garden of the European Academy Berlin (Bismarckallee 46/48) on Sunday, June 23, 2019, from 3pm to 8pm.

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News from Berlin