Summer Solstice marks the beginning of summer by bringing us the longest day and shortest night of the year.
Jāņi also called Līgo or John’s day is a celebration of the summer solstice with ancient pagan roots. It’s the time of year when the forces of nature are at their most powerful and the boundary between the physical and spiritual world becomes tenuous.
Summer Solstice occurs June 21-22, but over time, the festival has shifted to June 23-24 because of a connection with John The Baptist day and the introduction of Christianity in Latvia.
Search for the mysterious blossoming fern in the moonlight.
Jāņi is normally celebrated in the countryside with ample amounts of beer, caraway seed cheese, bonfires, and singing. Women adorn their heads with flowers they have picked in the countryside and woven into crowns. Livestock and homes are adorned with branches of birch, rowan, and flowers. Nettles and thistles are attached to door frames to keep wicked spirits out, and herbs picked on the summer solstice are believed to have healing powers.
Leaping over a bonfire frees one from “everything unnecessary.” Couples leap holding hands so that the mystic force of the flames will unite them.
Searching for the mysterious blossoming fern is traditional on this night, but truly it is just an excuse for couples to sneak away to some quieter spot.
It’s an all night event and at dawn, you should walk through the morning dew which is said to bring wealth. Women wash their faces in the morning dew as a ritual to ensure beauty.
Summer Solstice Ring and Bracelet
Inspired by the connection between nature and spirit I created these pieces that echo the feeling of Jāni.
Handmade daisy lampwork beads adorn the verdigris squares like fields of daisies waiting to be plucked and woven into crowns.
Wear a wreath of flowers and celebrate Summer Solstice