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Whitsunday (The Seventh Sunday after Easter)

Whitsunday was an occasion to honor vegetation and fertility. On this day, birch branches graced houses, yards and fields. Cows' horns were also decorated with birch wreathes to make the animals calm and productive. After driving the cattle home, shepherds walked through villages asking farmers for cheese made from seven or so pots of milk, loaves of bread with eggs baked into them, butter, buckwheat or pea pancakes and eggs. With this gathered food, the shepherds then held feasts in forests and fields. On Whitsunday, the village elders also went out into the fields to ceremonially visit the rye plants. There they feasted and drank collectively produced beer. Whitsunday usually corresponded with the end of the summer sowing season.



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"LITHUANIAN ROOTS", Edited by Rytis Ambrazevicius


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