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Flax Breaking

Flax breaking usually began around dusk or after the first cock's crow. Groups of helpers gathered in bathhouses and threshing barns and worked all night. Many specific games accompanied flax breaking. In Zemaitija, the tradition of Kursis carrying survived until the beginning of the twentieth century. The Kursis was a straw effigy representing evil spirits which dried the grain. Towards daybreak, young men from another work group threw it into a neighboring threshing barn shouting at the workers:"Take the Kursis!". Then, the men ran off and hid. The flax breakers tried as hard as they could to catch the Kursis' bearers, and if they couldn't find the men, they became the laughing stock of the whole village. Afterwards, the gathered group violently tore the figure apart or burned it on a stake.



next previous contents
Next: All Saints' Day and Velines (November 1st - 2nd) Previous: Flax Pulling

"LITHUANIAN ROOTS", Edited by Rytis Ambrazevicius


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