22 June, 2022
Happy Summer Solstice 2022!
The most ‘Latvian holiday’ is finally here – Jāņi or “Līgo!”, the night from June 23 to June 24 (in harmony with the summer solstice), when people participate in joyful festivities just as their ancestors did centuries ago.
Get ready for the shortest night of the year! And to make it even more intriguing and fun we have prepared some ‘must-have’ activities:
- Get out in nature
Līgo and Jāņi is ideally celebrated in nature, making garlands of oak leaves or flower crowns, going to the sauna – what can be possibly better? C’mon, celebrate the shortest night of the year at the rural homesteads, or go to an open-air party to dance, sing and be together in good company.
- Do not worry about the weather
Latvians often say “līst kā pa Jāņiem” (it’s raining as if it were Jāņi) since the weather on Jāņi night is usually not the most pleasant. The good news is that this is not the case this year! So far, the weather forecast looks very good, so it’s time to get your holiday shorts out!
- Eat, drink, sing, repeat!
Drinking beer and devouring copious amounts of caraway cheese – best if homemade is a must during Līgo celebration! The entire proceedings are serenaded by a sing-along – the enchanting Jāņi folk songs with the “Līgo!” refrain. So, don’t forget to update your playlist to get this Līgo Mood! P.S. And don’t forget about responsible driving!
- Pop into the woods to look for the fern flower
The legends say Jāņi night is the only time of the year when one can see the mysterious and mythical fern flower. No one ever has… but maybe you will be the lucky one this year?
- Patiently await the sunrise
One must not sleep on Jāņi night! Sleeping is only allowed after sunrise. At dawn, you should walk through the morning dew – this brings money (but we’re not quite sure about that – but trying never hurt nobody). Wanna hear some Latvian beauty lifehacks? According to ancient belief, those who wash their face in the dew are guaranteed beauty.
Voila! A perfect Līgo celebration is ready!
Happy Summer Solstice! Enjoy the holidays!
P.S. And yes, we know about the tradition of bonfires. But we highly do not recommend you to jump over them – safety first, folks.