Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's festival time!

For the past several years I've been happy to attend the annual Lithuanian Festival held at the National Guard armory in Catonsville, Maryland (a suburb of Baltimore). The 2009 festival -- One Thousand Years of Culture! -- is coming up this weekend; the press release is here (PDF).

This is my annual opportunity to chow down on cepelinai and kopustai and kugelis and wash it down with Utenis or another imported beer from the native land. Then there is viryta -- a honey liqueur a bit more concentrated than regular mead, and flavored with a combination of spices that seems to have been dreamed up by Lithuanian immigrants to the New World (*sigh*).

I enjoy watching the dance group Malunas, even though the music and dances probably aren't medieval and the costumes certainly are not. The shopping is good, too; I've picked up a few decent books at past festivals, plus some amber earrings, which, sadly, I always manage to lose.

On Saturday, look for me in the red, gold and green tie-dyed shirt with the drawing of two skeletons dressed in Lithuanian national costumes. Bonus points if you know the story behind that picture!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pennsic University Class

I have submitted my class to Pennsic University for Pennsic War XXXVIII.

Just like last year, the class will be titled, "Lithuania: The Biggest Medieval Country Of Which You May Not Have Heard." This year there's a strict character limit on class descriptions in the Pennsic book, so I wrote simply: "Survey of Lithuanian history from ancient tribes to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, plus clothing, names, culture, and more as time permits." Note those last three words. :-)

Last year I went to Pennsic wondering if anybody was going to show up for my class. As it turned out, every seat in the A&S tent was taken, and people were standing in the opening to the tent until the rain arrived just as I was wrapping things up. Granted, I don't know how many of the attendees are interested in the Baltic lands and how many just saw the class title and thought, "Holy [expletive deleted]! I've been in the SCA for 20 years and there's still a country I haven't heard about!" Nevertheless, I was gratified for the turnout.

Looking forward to another successful class in early August!