The shortest night of the year has passed.  Even the fact that it rained most of the night didn't stop us from enjoying ourselves.  This year I relaxed, and though we were the hosts, we didn't stress about too much.  When, after it had grown dark, we realized the rain was not going to stop, we pushed aside the furniture,  musicians pulled out their violins and accordions and drums and we danced indoors. Jāņi came and went so fast - a huge bustle of song and friends and food and ritual - flowers and oak leaves and wheels of homemade cheese.  Jāņi is the most exciting and even sacred celebration of our year.  Every year it is different, and every year I am sad that it is over.

Jem the firestarter with his ill-fated masterpiece - instead of rolling down the hill in a ball of flame, it was waterlogged, and took a long time to catch fire... and broke apart on the first push down the hill.  Oh well.  Better luck next year!  His other fire constructions worked admirably, despite the rain. 

Two ladies looking fabulous.  Photo title: "...not our babies!!!"

My little traditionalist

Decorating, decorating...

Mazākais Jāņa bērns un Jānu māte (ha!  Sound downright weird in translation:  the youngest child of Jāņi and the mother of Jāņi)

Tea parties


Ooops!  Rain's cleared - lets pass the food down the line to get it back on the table

Saying goodbye to the sun

So it starts pouring.  Again.  Ilga and I decide to chase away the rain single handedly, by singing, singing, singing....anything.  Everything.   .... didn't work!

So what to do - move the party inside

With a break in the rain, we lit up our new fire sculpture - made by a Rīga artist of welded together bike parts.  Awesome.  

Amazingly, the kids managed to stay up until dawn this year.  Other years most of them have passed out.  Mikus, of course, led the charge, and was a full participant and initiator of all of our different rituals. Here he is letting a "sky lantern" go before dawn - to bring back the sun

The day after - hanging out with our dear friends who came all the way from Brisvegas to enjoy the festivities.

Looking back at the photos, they are pretty much the same as every other year.  That's tradition for you, I guess! The most beautiful night of the year is over, and I am already counting down the days until we celebrate it again...

2 Responses so far.

  1. Liene says:

    Un vieni svētki beigušies, bet tūliņ otri sākās!

  2. Love reading about the traditions in The Homeland! Never fear, the Sun is definitely coming our way!

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