Every year in late October, when nature is almost ready for the winter and days shorten considerably, marks the end of autumn as everything falls deeper into hibernation. Along with the fog gates to the other world are opened and it is time to expect our ancestral spirits. Hosting the feast for the dead at the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum of Latvia is a tradition on this Eve and celebrated by singing in honour of our ancestors together with folk groups.
In the open-air museum held near Vidzeme farmstead during ‘Veļu vakaru’ / Ancestors’ Evening’ there will be introduced cultural singing and the narration of life stories of those who have passed before together with folklore groups.
Respect for the departed ancestors is also evident in the traditions of the old era. These include songs that speak more symbolic language in a way that is typical of our songs.
Once the songs have been sung and the riddles have been guessed, everyone in Latvia, will be invited to commemorate and thank their departed relatives. The hosts of “Priedes kroga” will take care of the warming of the guests, who will respect the participants of the evening with a special linen and evening porridge supper.
In the traditions of the Latvian people, the mention and veneration of ancestors or previous generations who already live in the sun is especially important. In the important moments of life in the Latvian consciousness, there are both those who are in our mortal sun and those who are in the eternal father’s sun, thus expanding both the boundaries of the family and the common energy.
During the autumn evenings, communication with their ancestors is especially relevant, so we invite everyone who wants to dedicate their gratitude to previous generations or lost relatives to join in the ‘Veļu vakaru’ / Ancestors’ Evening’.
“Porridge is because it is made from cereals. And they are symbolically connected to the world of ancestors. Because the grain is put in the ground, go away to another reality, after a while it grows, returns here, brings the harvest. Thus, it symbolically measures the path from another world to this. This shows the connection with another world.”
“In addition to singing, Evening is characterized by play and, in particular, the mention of riddles, emphasizing the importance of the sharpness, knowledge and creativity of the human mind. This, too, is largely a legacy from our ancestors. All these things are related to previous generations, knowledge and values are inherited. The ancestral world is what helps us live here”, explains Latvian expert.
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Categories: Ethnic traditions