Those two the most beautiful celebrations are upcoming soon, therefore, I’ve decided to write about the traditions of those celebrations exactly in Lithuania, of course, having in mind that those traditions are already distorted or that they have already become much more commercial. For those who wish to remember or maybe try the actions which were done on Christmas Eve earlier, the list of Christmas Eve superstitions and customs is represented here. You’ll also find DIY which will help you to decorate home for Christmas and for the New Year.
At Christmas people used to wake up early, the table for Christmas Eve was being prepared, people were watching if the souls didn't rise from the dead. Hay, taken from the table, was shared among cattle. A traditional Christmas meal used to be a boar meat or pork. Before Christmas a pig usually used to be slaughtered and slaughter rituals used to be accomplished. A head of a slaughtered pig was always decorated by greens. Eating and sacrificing pork was a magic means to increase the crop capacity. The first Christmas day people used to be disposed seriously – they didn't use to go out or do any job. They used to cast and draw lots. Cold Christmas meant a late spring, a sunny day – a fruitful year.
Dinner used to begin as soon as the first star in the sky appeared;
a table used to be covered with hay, the new white tablecloth used to be covered and ready meal set on a table;
in some places on a table an unthreshed rye foot used to be set and that foot was the symbol of a good crop capacity upcoming year;
a pile of straws used to be set under a table. The next day apple-trees used to be tied round with those straws which was to make an apple-tree give a rich. The part of those straws was left to lot corn so that the crop capacity was good;
before beginning to eat dinner the Christmas tree twig used to be placed at the corner of a table or the door from the outside used to be decorated with those twigs – that was the symbol of the life tree;
Christmas trees used to be decorated with apples, nuts or burning candles. Nuts were the symbols of fruitfulness. It was believed that love can be embarked and moral relationship strengthened by nuts. An apple meant a wedding and a family increase;
burning the lights is referred to a remembrance of grandgrandfathers‘ souls and a land protection from any evil. The burning candles used to be placed on a table;
on Christmas Eve it was forbidden to move any of the decorations of a Christmas tree. It was believed that if somebody took an apple or a nut out of a Christmas tree, the souls would get furious about that person and would revenge him. The decorations could be taken out of a Christmas tree just the second Christmas day and it‘s believed to bring happiness;
before taking a seat at the table, a host would take a Christmas Eve loaf and carry it three times around a house. When a loaf was already carried around a house three times, a host would knock the door and a hostess would ask him who has come from the inside of a house. A host would answer that a God is willing to come in. A hostess would honorably invite a God with a Christmas Eve loaf in his hands to come in;
the oldest family member used to sit in the most respectful place, thence all the others were allowed to take a seat leaving some places for the souls which also used to have their plates and glasses around the table. During the night some food and drinks used to be left because it was thought that the souls come to eat something;
when everybody was already sitting around the table, the first thing they used to do was pray and thence wish health and happiness believing that it’d come true and had a magic power;
having all the meals blessed, a host used to give a piece of bread with a little bit of salt to each of the people sitting around. Later an apple – the symbol of fruitfulness used to be eaten;
12 or 13 meals used to be prepared for Christmas Eve and it probably symbolized 12 or 13 months in a year which were counted basing on the Moon.
The New Year Eve people didn’t use to go to bed to wait till a New Year comes. Having overslept the moment like that meant that the whole year would be unsuccessful and the one who overslept that moment would feel sleepy and lazy the whole year. For Lithuanians a New Year Eve used to be the day for wishes since the oldest times. People used to believe that the wishes which were told at the very beginning of the next year had a magic power and would come true.It’s believed that at the beginning of the year it’s important to behave in a way you wish to behave the whole year. It means to be polite to each other, not to argue, not to make any noise or drink alcohol.
Make a golden - white candlestick yourself!
You will need:
A paper adhesive tape;
White, golden paint and golden paint with glitter;
Golden candlestick rings.
What to do?
To paint the whole candlestick in white paint and leave it until it gets dry;
To wrap some paper adhesive tape around a candlestick (not in all places, just in those where you want to see the golden color). Make sure that the tape is pressed tightly and paint isn't going to leak;
To paint the white area in a golden color. Spread so many layers so that the brush strokes weren't visible and the color got bright;
When the paint gets dry, take an adhesive tape out;
Insert the ring into the candlestick.
A result - a wonderful modern festive candle!
DIY Christmas tree decorations!
You will need:
Some packages of white clay;
A toolkit (Sculpey is suggested here, as well as clay);
Golden paint (or that of another color);
What to do?
To preheat an oven up to 275 degrees;
To make a ball manually from a piece of clay (you can choose its size yourself);
To trim a ball from various sides;
To even the edges using fingers;
To put out the holes and put those future baubles into the oven for approximately half an hour depending on their size;
To let clay cool and paint the places that you wish in a golden color;
Well, and finally to put a thread or a string through and decorate your Christmas tree! :)