Winter Solstice ritual in Old Riga, Latvia

17 votes
Taken the 21/12/10
Yule Log Night, a traditional Latvian event celebrating the winter solstice and the re-birth of the Sun, took place in Old Town on the 21st December.

The ritual started at the Dome Square, the heart of Old Riga. Ķekatas – people dressed in beast costumes – get together singing songs that are aimed to send away evil spirits.

They drag the log across the town to collect all bad and evil that has accumulated here throughout the year. Later they return to the square and set the log afire, celebrating the new solar year with good spirits.

Roots of this tradition go back to pagan times, when winter and summer solstice were the most essential dates in the agricultural calendar of our ancestors.

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Latitude: 56° 56' 58" N, Longitude: 24° 6' 18" E see »

Location: Latvia

Comments on panorama:

Nice self-portrait :)
By Enrique Alvarez | 31/12/10 - 02:34:33 GMT +0100

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