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Jani 2023 (Latvia): Everything You Need To Know About The Day!

n accordance with ancient folk traditions, this day commemorates rebirth, fertility, and good fortune.

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Jani 2023 (Latvia): Everything You Need To Know About The Day!

Jani 2023 (Latvia): Jani is a holiday celebrated annually in Latvia on June 24. It is a celebration of the summer solstice. In accordance with ancient folk traditions, this day commemorates rebirth, fertility, and good fortune. On this day, Latvians participate in ceremonies that symbolise rebirth and new life. It is one of the most significant holidays on the Latvian calendar, as many people leave the cities to enjoy the peace of the countryside.

HISTORY OF JANI

Jani was originally an ancient fertility festival observed after planting the cereals and prior to harvesting. Its origins predate Christianity and it was primarily celebrated by pagan farmers. However, following Christianization, Jani was relocated to coincide with St. John’s Day. It is the last day of the two-day midsummer festivities that began with the Ligo festival — Ligosvetki — and end with Jani.

During Jani, Latvians rejoice with their loved ones in the countryside. The creation of arrangements and wreaths from plant and woody foliage is one of the most important aspects of the celebration. In the spirit of the Jani festival, every man, woman, and, in some instances, animal dons a wreath. It is widely believed that herbaceous plants such as cow wheat and bedstraw provide protection against plague and calamity.

In accordance with tradition, people have lit bonfires and jumped over them to celebrate the approaching dawn and welcoming fertility to their fields. It is believed that leaping over them will bring good fortunes. Smorgasbords of cheese and meat are traditionally served in homes, contributing to the holiday’s festive and lively ambiance.

Jani is regarded as the “longest night of the year” by Latvians because tradition dictates that they remain awake until sunrise. One is said to be “doomed to sleep the entire summer” if they sleep during the Midsummer night, which is another way of saying they will be lazy for the remainder of the year. During this nocturnal phase, participants are encouraged to converse or meander through the morning dew. In doing so, they anticipate future prosperity.

During the Soviet era, the Soviet government prohibited all celebrations of Jani because it was viewed as a nationalist holiday that ran counter to Soviet collectivism. Jani has been reinstated and celebrated annually since Latvia’s independence in 1990. It is a holiday that Latvians eagerly anticipate because it compels them to take time off and appreciate the countryside.

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5 FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT LATVIA

Latvia is a very verdant nation.

It is one of the cleanest countries in Europe, with more than 48 percent of its land area covered by forests.

One-third of the population resides in the city of Riga.

Latvia’s metropolis, Riga is home to 627,487 residents.

They communicate on the ice.

Similar to Canada and Russia, ice hockey is Latvia’s national sport.

They have one of the earliest flags in existence.

The present flag of Latvia dates back to the 13th century.

Latvia is tiny but expansive.

Despite being one of the shortest countries in Europe, Latvia’s Baltic Sea coastline spans 500 kilometers.

JANI DATES

Year Date Day
2023 June 24 Saturday
2024 June 24 Monday
2025 June 24 Tuesday
2026 June 24 Wednesday
2027 June 24 Thursday

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