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calendar cycle

THE CALENDAR CYCLE

Ancient Lithuanian celebrations, work customs and ceremonies often corresponded with the most significant days of the year: solstices, equinoxes and others. Many of these traditions dated back to pagan times. Lithuania was an agricultural nation, therefore it is not surprising that farming and husbandry left their mark on calendar celebrations. After Lithuania was converted to Christianity, the church began determining when holidays would occur. However elements of ancient pagan beliefs still existed alongside Christian ones in many holiday rituals. Often the dates of Christian holidays coincided with older pagan ones as agricultural cycles never changed. Holiday and work customs were not uniform throughout Lithuania. For example, Shrove Tuesday was most popular in Zemaitija, whereas rye cutting customs were observed mainly in Dzukija, and St. John's day celebrations were mostly found in northern Lithuania.



next previous contents
Next: Christmas Eve (December 24th) Previous: Lithuania Minor

"LITHUANIAN ROOTS", Edited by Rytis Ambrazevicius


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Copyright ©, 1996 Lithuanian Folk Culture Centre.