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Spring Equinox and Lieldienas (Easter) Rites with Folkloric Ensembles “Grodi” and “Garataka.”

Last year (2023) in Riga, I watched the sun rise over the Daugava River at the Spring Equinox celebration hosted by the exquisite folkloric ensembles “Grodi” and “Garataka.”  Everybody was so welcoming to a stranger.

Easter in Latvia, Lieldienas, is the first Sunday after the first full moon after or during the vernal equinox. There is also a "second Easter" on Monday of the following week.

Palm Sunday in English, is Pussy Willow Sunday in Latvian. No palm trees there. A mild spanking with a pussy willow switch enhances health and energy.

While spanking you should chant:

"Round as a catkin, healthy as a radish. Flexible as a twig, red as an apple. Brave as a lion, quick as a squirrel. Illness goes out, health comes in."

Get up before dawn on Pussy Willow Morning, or you'll hibernate all year long like a bear in winter.

Swing as much as you can on Easter. It's said to protect you from mosquito and snake bites.

I don't yet know the tradition underlying tying ribbons on the budding bushes.

Hoping you may be outdoors on the equinox! Revel in rebirth and God's nature! Happy spring!


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