The Basics of Lithuanian Baltic Religion
followers of Lithuanian Baltic Religion profess many
diverse beliefs, there are several bedrock concepts on
which virtually all concur:
Baltic Religion is the ancient indigenous native national
ethnic religion of the Lithuanians. The ancient
Lithuanians did not profess a religion per se, but rather
their way-of-life, world-concept and world-view
constituted what is now called "religion".
Baltic Religion is firmly and deeply rooted in the
personal experience of the Lithuanian way-of-life,
world-concept and world-view as manifest in Lithuanian
ethnic culture. This includes art, deities, folklore,
holidays, music, and sacred places. Dainos play a
special role in Lithuanian Baltic Religion: they are
the ancient songs and hymns.
have spiritual or religious experiences. Everybody
experiences them differently, in her or his own way.
We cannot fully comprehend or describe them. They can
happen any time and any place, even in mundane life,
when not expecting them. When seeking them, they are
often evasive. All who seek them eventually find them.
Vydûnas called such events 'spiritual awakening.'
Lithuanian Baltic Religion teaches Lithuanian methods
of seeking such experiences.
seek inner-peace and harmony: with themselves, with
their families, with their communities, with their
ancestors, and with the universe. Lithuanian Baltic
Religion teaches Lithuanian methods of seeking
inner-peace and harmony.
Baltic Religion regards everything as sacred. Life and
nature are holy, and humans are part of nature.
Deities are seen everywhere.
religions have similar goals. Lithuanian Baltic
Religion tolerates foreign religions without
practices Lithuanian Baltic Religion.
Religion" identifies the way-of-life, world-concept
and world-view that were common to all Baltic nations:
Lithuanians, Latvians, Prussians, Yotvingians, Curonians,
Þemgalians, Sëlians, Latgalians, etc.
"Lithuanian Baltic Religion" or "Lithuanian
Religion" is the Lithuanian version of Baltic
The most important Lithuanian holidays celebrate human
life. Krikðtas is the naming celebration of a
new-born baby. The baby is showered with wishes for a
healthy life and good fortune. Vestuvës is the
three-day wedding festival. Through a series of beautiful
ancient rituals, a girl and boy become adults, leave their
families, and form a new family. The participants invoke
the Gods upon them and wish them health, prosperity, and
fortune. Ðermenys and laidotuvës are the
funeral ceremonies. The living bid the deceased farewell,
as they pour libations with the prayer "where you
have gone, there we shall go."
Lithuanians also have many calendar and agrarian holidays.
The year begins with the Winter Solstice, Kalëdos,
now celebrated on December 25th. People visit neighbors
and friends, share food, burn the Yule log, and make
predictions for the New Year. At the end of January, pusiauþiemis
commemorates mid-winter. Around March 1st, Uþgavënës
escorts winter out. People dress in supernatural costumes
and go into the fields to chase winter away with noise,
dances, tricks and merriment.
Velykos celebrates the Spring Solstice. It
celebrates new life by exchanging first blossoms and eggs
decorated with mythological symbols. Jorë and Samboriai
are two spring holidays which celebrate the first fruits
and grain sow, respectively.
Rasa or Kupolinë is the Summer Solstice. People
walk their fields and collect various herbs that are
blessed that night. Young people keep all-night vigils. In
the morning, dew is collected and saved for sacred and
medicinal purposes. In late summer, the rye harvest
concludes with Rugiø ðventë, while the winter
rye planting finishes with Dagotuvës. Both give
thanks for the gifts of the harvest and the protection of
Vëlinës commemorates the dead and is still
celebrated throughout the month of October, culminating on
November 1st. The dead are remembered, are invited to dine
with the living, and are offered an abode for the winter:
the "sodas" mobile that hangs above dinning
tables in Lithuania. The year ends with Kûèios, Winter
Solstice eve. In preparation, everybody must reconcile
with whomever they have strife, and debts must be
forgiven. Families gather to commemorate the union between
the dead and the living. The tears of the old year are
eaten, lots are cast for the New Year, and predictions are
made about one's fate. Everyone blesses everyone else,
wishing them health, fortune, prosperity, and wisdom.
The Lithuanian holidays have an uninterrupted tradition
since ancient times. Christianity and the Soviets both
unsuccessfully tried to eradicate them. Although some
holidays took on Christian identities in times of
persecution, the non-Christian nature of all the holidays
is always evident.