St. John’s Festival

Time of the summer solstice – the shortest night of the year – in the ancient times were also called Rasos (Dew Holiday) or Kupolės. When Christianity was introduced, the holiday changed its name to St. John’s Festival. Young and older people would gather in the most beautiful locations, such as river banks, lakesides, in the outer wood or on hill tops. They would make a huge bonfire and light the hub. Girls would make wreaths from the most beautiful flowers and herbage, sing songs and jump over the bonfire. At midnight young people would start searching for the fern blossom. Merrymaking would last until dawn.
St. John’s festival was the time when man attempted to identify his existence with the changing course of nature, trying to unriddle its secrets and by means of various rites, sacrifices and fortune-telling ensure plentiful yield. In the Soviet times St. John’s Festival was not observed. Starting from 1991 traditional ancient St. John’s Festival has been celebrated on the bank of Lake Plateliai.