Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Happy Rasos, Kupolės and/or Joninės!

Happy St. John's Day, Saint Jonas' Festival, or Fête St-Jean-Baptiste! Or maybe I should call it by one of its other, more Lithuanian Pagan names: Rasos, Kupolės, Joninės. So many names for a single day celebrated by so many cultures.

Yes, the summer solstice actually occurred on June 21 this year, but June 24 is the traditional date of Midsummer Day festivities -- a blending of Pagan and Christian sensibilities, or one or the other, depending on where you are and what you believe it. (Personally, I think it's cool that the day is important to both Lithuanians and French Canadians -- that takes care of all my ancestors.)

While poking around on the Web, I found this Vimeo video of a modern-day Rasos-Kupolės Pagan festival in Lithuania. At first the participants look as if they're getting ready for Pennsic, but shortly the techno music starts up and the festivities look like a cross between an urban rave and Burning Man. :-)

I'm starting to get my act together for my Pennsic University class, which will be held Wednesday, August 5, at 2 p.m. in A&S Tent #1. That's the day after the Slavic Interest Group (SIG) gathering on Tuesday, August 4, at noon in A&S Tent #12. If there's anything that you, my loyal readers, would like me to discuss on the general topic of medieval Lithuania, please let me know. However, please remember that I'll have only 50-55 minutes to talk.

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