Magical Joninės Festival in Lithuania!
Every year the night from June 23rd to 24th is very special for Lithuanian people as it's the night of Joninės, midsummer folk festival. It's the longest day and shortest night in the Northern Hemisphere.
One of the most important ceremonies are bonfire burnings. It used to be a tradition for young people to jump over them with an intention of clearing and protecting themselves from diseases. It was believed that the more people jump over the bonfire, the greater the impact it will have on all of them. If a couple would jump together, they would soon get married.
Joninės was closely related to agriculture as it was one of the most important sources of living. By performing all the rituals it was believed to improve and protect the harvest. The future harvest was guessed by the weather during the festival. If the night was rainy, then the harvest would be pleasing, and if the night was dry, then harvest might be poor.
People would braid wild flower crowns and wear them on their heads or release them into water. Also, it's popular to perform various love or wedding spells to see your true love in your dreams or invite him or her into your life. One of the love spells was to take a long thread and wrap it around your left hand pinky. With every rotation you need to say one letter of an alphabet. If the alphabet has ended and you still have some thread left, start the alphabet from the beginning. When the thread ends, the letter that you have said the last would be the first letter of your loved one's name.
According to folklore wisdom, during Joninės night you can find a mystical blossom of a fern which does not exist in the nature. You need to go to the forest alone, not be afraid of any magical events or creatures and find the blossom that enables the person divine power of omniscience and brings true happiness.
During Joninės it was popular to guess future weather. If Joninės night is starry, then Christmas will be cold and snowy. If the night is rainy, then Christmas will be full of blizzards. And if it's cloudy, then Christmas will be rainy and windy.
Linen has been a precious fabric for thousands of years. Usually people would put on their best linen clothes on for Joninės and pass through symbolic gates covered in flowers and plants symbolizing the rejuvenation and the new beginning. This way you leave your past behind and make place for an exciting future.