After a great Lithuanian song festival in Chicago, now it's time to DANCE! On Sunday, July 3, 2016, thousands will gather from around the world in Baltimore, MD for the 15th North American Lithuanian Folk Dance Festival.
Traditionally, the centerpiece of Lithuanian cuisine is dark rye bread which is used substantially more often than light wheat breads. Émigrés from Lithuania will often mention their native rye bread as the food that they miss the most. It is deep in flavor with malt and caraway. Many love this bread as an open sandwich with thinly sliced roast beef and horseradish, creamy blue cheeses or toasted and spread with orange marmalade. Watch how to make it in a video bellow. And share this post with others on Facebook and Twitter.
FORGET the fireworks on Australia Day, or Halloween and Queen's Birthday traditions – Lithuanian Christmas customs are much more interesting!
Halloween or the Day of the Dead? Partying or quiet family time? Trick-or-treating or visiting the graves of deceased relatives? Carving pumpkins in your backyard or lighting candles in the cemetery? Watch a horror movie or say a prayer?
Modern Halloween tradition with frightening jokes and trick-or-treating differs greatly from the origins of this celebration dating back at least 2000 years ago. These old traditions are still kept in Lithuania and Halloween celebration is hardly finding its place in the Lithuanian society.
If Halloween is a funny celebration of shadows and fear, then November 1st, All Saint’s Day, and November 2nd, Velines or Day of the Dead, are the days of dignified celebration of light. It is that time of the year when families come together and –quite literally—go back to their roots, remembering all those who are gone: not only the relatives, but also friends, colleagues and sometimes even people they only met couple of times, but remember till this day.
People visit cemeteries of beloved ones to light candles. Thousands of them. If you have ever been to the Lithuanian cemetery on November 1st and 2nd, you would have seen the endless ocean of candle lights. This spectacular view helps you to find peace with the inner self, helps you to reach souls of all those deceased, helps you to concentrate and remember all those people you used to know who are already gone. In that ocean of candle lights people stop for a moment to listen for the echo of the past in the present.
This year, please remember to visit not only the graves of the people you know, but also to light a candle on the neglected grave. That poor soul will feel the warmth of the candle light and will feel remembered.
The following film captures the mood of celebration of Velines and All Saints' Day in Lithuania.
Well, the time is here! And a Christmas tree is up! It is something magical about a Christmas tree, don’t you agree? It calms us, makes us pause and give thanks.
I’m sharing a picture of the three that my family has decorated for this year’s holiday season. It has all the fun stuff on it, like tinsel and garland and Angels, except that it’s all Lithuanian and made of wheat or rye straw.