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Rye Harvesting

At the beginning of the rye harvest, the first plants gathered were tied into a small sheaf. This bundle was called the Diedas (old man) or the Guest and was set up behind the table in the place of honor. It stood there as a symbol of plenty until the first grain was taken from the fields. Then the sheaf was layed down with the dried and gathered rye. Before the main harvest, families gathered together in the ends of their fields, divided a slice of bread amongst themselves and ate saying: "Bread meets bread".

At the end of the harvest, the reapers left a small bunch of rye standing in the field. The harvesters stood in a circle around the remaining rye and, covering their hands with scarves or aprons, uprooted any weeds within it. The remaining rye plants were then braided and bent toward the farmstead to ensure that wealth would flow from the fields to the household.

The reapers wove a harvest wreath from the best ears for the lead harvester to carry to the farm owners. The entire group of harvesters was then met by the owners who invited them to the harvest table.



next previous contents
Next: Zolines (Meadow Grass Celebration, August 15th) Previous: Haymaking

"LITHUANIAN ROOTS", Edited by Rytis Ambrazevicius


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