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Christmas in latvia


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eTwinning project "A Health Jump"

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Christmas in latvia

  1. 1. Christmas traditions in Latvia eTwinning project «A Health Jump»
  2. 2. Winter solstice celebrations Many of the Christian traditions in Latvia are intertwined with earlier pagan traditions. Winter solstice is the shortest day of the year. One of the ancient traditions was the rolling of the wooden block around the house to drive away any evil spirits from the home. Then it was burned in honour of the sun.
  3. 3. Santa Claus Children in Latvia believe that Santa Claus (also known as Ziemassvētku vecītis - Christmas old man) brings their presents. The present are usually put under the Christmas tree. The presents are opened on during the Evening of Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day.
  4. 4. Christmas presents Often to get a present you have to recite a short poem while standing next to the Christmas Tree. Before Christmas children learn to say poems by heart. You might also get a present by singing, playing a musical instrument or doing a dance!
  5. 5. Christmas Tree Latvia also claims to be the home of the first Christmas Tree! The first documented use of a evergreen tree at Christmas and New Year celebrations is in town square of Riga, the capital of Latvia, in the year 1510. The legend says that the first Riga tree was decorated with paper flowers and burnt on the bonfire after the ceremony.
  6. 6. Christmas Greetings In Latvian Merry Christmas is «Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus!»
  7. 7. Christmas meal By Christian traditions on Christmas Eve it’s not allowed to eat meat, but Latvians are real meat lovers. So there is Christmas Eve when there have to be 9 different dishes for the coming year to be rich (by pagan tradition) which do not include meat (by Christian tradition). These traditions perfectly live together.
  8. 8. Christmas meal Today the most popular traditional Christmas dish is boiled grey peas with pieces of fried meat and bacon, usually eaten accompanied by a drink of rūgušpiens or kefīrs (curdled or cultured milk).
  9. 9. Christmas meal Other most popular Christmas meal is roast pork with sautéed sauerkraut.
  10. 10. Christmas meal A modern festive table also often includes carp, and fish scales are placed in pockets and purses, so that the new year brings a lot of money.
  11. 11. Christmas meal In western Latvia a traditional Christmas snack is sklandu rauši (tarts filled with a mashed potato and carrot).
  12. 12. Christmas meal You definitely have to eat boiled grey peas – if you do it, you wont have to cry the next year.
  13. 13. Gingerbread In the last 100 years it has also become popular to bake gingerbread at Christmas, another tradition inherited from the Germans.
  14. 14. Christmas Day meal The special Latvian Christmas Day meal is cooked brown/grey peas with bacon (pork) sauce, small pies, cabbage & sausage, bacon rolls and gingerbread.
  15. 15. Merry Christmas! Balvi Primary school Class 6C