Christmas is considered to be an old festival. The name “Christmas” isknown to many nations (Romans, Greeks, Slavs, Albanians and other). There are several opinions on the origin of the festival name. Christmas begins on 25th December. This date was considered to be sun and vegetation God’s birthday. During the Christmas celebration in Lithuania, people make magic actions, sing songs, ect. back
Lithuanian Christmas rituals have many in commonwith other Indo-European peoples rites. On the first day of Christmas people used to be in serious mood. They did not go outside and did not work, but usingmagics were trying to predict the next year’s weatherand amount of harvest. On cold Christmas day peoplewere expecting snowy Easter and late spring. As well as on other holidays in Lithuania, a great magic power was attributed to greetings and wishes. on Christmas too. back
Our ancestors had to get up early on Christmas morning, remove Christmas Eve dishes from the table looking if there are no traces of spirits.Removed hay from the table they used to hand out for the livestock. Traditional dishes was pork orboar. In Samogitia (Žemaitijoje) a hotchpotch witha pig’s tail in the middle of bowl was placed on the Christmas table. back
Santa Claus is depicted as a cute, nice, heavy old man with a long white beard, red clothes and hat, and a bag of gifts. Children are told, that on Christmas Eve he comes on reindeer harnessed sleigh beard and gives to all good children. In Lithuania there was a customto visit neighbors on the Christmas morning dressed up like a Santa Claus (Kalėda) wishing a good harvest. In folk songs it is told about his trip from a far country. back
Dishes Written sources mention ritual pork eating during the festival and the custom of pig and piglets sacrificing when starting farming works. In Lithuania it is widely spread custom to slaughter apig before Christmas. Slaughtered pig’s head decorated with various herbs took the most important place on the table among all the other dishes. In Samogitia (Žemaitijoje) a hotchpotch with a pig’s tail in the middle of bowl was placed on the Christmas table.
Christmas Attributes Inherent Christmas attributes were – a bagand a stick. People used to welcome and feastSanta Claus, and he regarding this used toreward all with gifts, congratulate, wish forhosts wealthy harvest next year, dance withchildren and give them brought with himselfnuts.
There was a custom in Pilviškių village, Kurkleliųdistrict when a man dressed up in a fur coat inside-outwith a towel on his hips, linen beard and hump on his back used to take a basket and stick, and visit neighbors. atgal
Sources : www.google.lt/vaizdai www.vikipedia.lt and Pranė Dundulienė„ Lietuvių šventės :tradicijos, papročiai, apeigos “