Lieldienas

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In ancient Latvia, Lieldienas ("big days") was the celebration of Vernal Equinox on March 23. The celebration usually lasted three or four days; each day was devoted to a specific deity, though no source gives the names of the respective deity. At least one day is probably dedicated to Māra.

Lieldienas was a celebration of dancing, singing and gaiety. On the first day, the Latvians arose early and rinsed their faces in running water.[1] Symbolically scattering evil, adults scared birds away from the homes and surroundings.


Eggs were associated with Lieldienas. One who steals an egg will be poor. One who eats a hard-boiled egg without salt is a liar. A girl who gives a boy two eggs doesn't like him; three eggs mean there is a chance she likes; four eggs means she doesn't like him but will be with him because he is richer; five eggs means she loves him.

In modern Latvia, Easter is called Lieldienas. Some of the old traditions survive and are performed at Easter.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mellēna, Māra (2000), Latvian Seasonal Holidays, The Latvian Institute, retrieved October 4, 2013