Saturday, 28 September, 16:00–16:30 (Jakobi 2, Room 107)
Language of presentation: English
Vytautas Magnus University, PhD student
kristina.blockyte [ät] gmail.com
Celebrations in Lithuania Minor: the Reconstruction of Traditions
Nowadays a great number of traditional folklore genres have been withdrawn from our daily life and the customs and traditions of various celebrations have especially changed. The mapping of the ethnographic information has revealed that in the traditions of the first half of the XX c. some of the celebrations of the calendar cycle were known throughout Lithuania, while others were found only in specific regions. One of the possible assumptions of the changes is the belief that the historical heritage of individual Baltic tribes has influenced the regional peculiarities of the traditions of celebrations. The political, economic, demographic changes, as well as the life in multicultural borderline regions, inevitably influenced the Lithuanians’ perception of identity, while spiritual culture is closely related to it. The archival materials of the XX c. reveal that the calendar celebrations were especially affected by the influence of the church. Prayers, motets in churches and at home were considered to be the most important part of ceremonial worship services. Merriment, meetings with songs and dances, if any, have taken place only on the second or third day of the celebration. Therefore, the purpose of the report is to analyze how and on what basis the cycle of the calendar celebrations of Lithuania Minor are to be restored. The object of the report – contemporary calendar celebrations in Lithuania Minor. The analysis of traditional celebrations is based on the materials of Baltų religijos ir mitologijos šaltiniai (compiler Norbert Velius), the collected and published sources of Jonas Balis, as well as the studies of Balis Buračas, Teodoras Narbutas and other ethnographic and historical texts. Additional information has been provided by analyzing the funds and internet materials of Klaipėda University Folklore and Ethnographic manuscript library (KUTRF), Lithuanian Literature and Folklore Institute (LLTI), Lithuania History Institute (LII). The analysis of modern Lithuanians’ celebrations is based on the collected by the author folklore and ethnographic materials, during her expedition on the territory of Lithuania Minor (since 2005).
Key words: Lithuania Minor, celebrations, traditions, customs