JANI and MIDSUMMER SOLISTICE
Updated: Jan 27, 2021
In Latvia, the midsummer festival is called Jāņi (yaaanyi), but can also be referred to as the Līgo Festival (Liigo sveetki). Occurring on 23-24 June, it celebrates the summer solistice and is heavy with traditions and symbolism celebrating life. Cities empty out during this time, while everyone, regardless of their age, journeys to the countryside in preparation for their Jāņi.
Foliage from rowan, oak, birch and linden trees is used to decorate homes, barns, fences, doorways and cars (travelling to your Jāņi celebrations with a car decorated with foliage is obligatory!). Don’t forget to also hang thorns, thistles and nettles to repel evil spirits!
Once the house and surrounds are decorated, it’s time to make a wreath to wear on your head. For men, the wreaths are made from oak leaves, symoblising an oak tree’s s