Published: June 23rd 2011June 23rd 2011
"Jonines" is a celebration of the summer solstice, or the longest day of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated all night long because there are only a few hours of darkness here. All day we waited anxiously to join in the celebration and learn all about the traditions of this major Lithuanian holiday.
Today became even more eventful with the arrival of 2 new kids. The young girl and boy were brought to us by the child safety services after someone reported that they had been completely abandoned by the parents since Monday of this week. Upon arrival, the adorable, yet soot-covered siblings dressed in rag- like clothing were bathed, fed, given new clothing, and then finally introduced to all of us. Luckily, there have been no problems with the transition so far. One of the boys bonded immediately with the little girl and did not leave her side all day; her younger brother just tagged along. I'm pretty sure the kids felt like they were in heaven, leaving a dirty, tiny, awful, dangerous living space and arriving at clean, safe, home filled with kids and toys.
As the day progressed we prepared for our Jonines celebration by
picking wild flowers and making vainikai (wreaths). When the sun began to set the festivities began with a search for the paparcio ziedas ( the four-leaved fern blossom). Later we snag and danced to folk songs, roasted sausages on an open fire, let our vainikai float away in the river for our future husbands to find, and spent hours telling stories by the bonfire. We can't believe that all our lives we've missed out on celebrating such a unique, traditional holiday.
There are more photos below