Daina is the traditional name of vocal folk music in the Baltic languages, is preserved in Lithuania and Latvia. Lithuanian dainos are noted not only for their mythological content, but for relating historical events. Most Lithuanian folk music is based around various types of dainos, which include romantic songs, wedding songs, as well as work songs, archaic war songs; these dainos are performed either solo, or in groups, in parallel chords or unison. There are three ancient styles of singing in Lithuania connected with ethnographical regions: monophony, multi-voiced homophony and polyphony. Monophony occurs in southern and eastern parts of Lithuania. Multi-voiced homophony is widespread in the entire Lithuania. Polyphonic songs are common in the renowned sutartinės tradition of Aukštaitija, occurring only sporadically in other regions. A large number of Lithuanian dainos are performed in the minor key. Parts of Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring are based on Lithuanian dainos, as are works by Lithuanian composer Juozas Naujalis.
Cf. Celtic Gaelic duan'song'. Lithuania is home to many folk music festivals; the Dainų šventė a state-supported festival is the most famous. Other major folk festivals include the Skamba skamba kankliai and the Atataria trimitai, both held annually; the Baltica International Folklore Festival is held in one of the Baltic states every year. The tradition of mass Song Fests was inscribed in the UNESCO list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2003. Sutartinės - multipart songs, are unique examples of folk music, they are an ancient form of two and three voiced polyphony, based on the oldest principles of multivoiced vocal music: heterophony, parallelism and free imitation. Most of the sutartinės were recorded in the 19th and 20th centuries, but sources from the 16th century on show that they were significant along with monophonic songs. Recognizing their uniqueness and value, UNESCO inscribed sutartinės into the representative list of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2010.
The topics and functions of sutartinės encompass all known Lithuanian folk song genres—work, calendar cycle ritual, family, historic, etc. Melodies of sutartinės are not complex; the melodies are symmetrical. Folk singers categorize sutartinės into three main groups according to performance practices and function: Dvejinės are sung by two singers or two groups of singers. Trejinės are performed by three singers in strict canon. Keturinės are sung by two pairs of singers. Sutartinės are a localized phenomenon, found in the eastern parts of Lithuania, they were sung by women, but men performed instrumental versions on the kanklės, on horns, on the skudučiai, a form of panpipes played by a group, as well as wooden trumpets. The rich and thematically varied poetry of the sutartinės attests to their importance in the social fabric. Sutartinės were sung at festivals, gatherings and while performing various chores; the poetic language is not complex, but it is visual and sonorous. The rhythms are accented.
Dance sutartinės are humorous and spirited, despite the fact that the movements of the dance are quite reserved and slow. One of the most important characteristics of the sutartinės is the wide variety of vocables used in the refrains. At present the sutartinės have become extinct as a genre among the population, but they are fostered by many Lithuanian folklore ensembles, who take great pleasure in keeping them alive. Laments are one of the oldest forms of musical poetry, they originate from funeral customs. The first written sources about Lithuanian funeral customs date to the 9th century. Johan Maletius is purported to have written down the first lament in 1551 in a combination of Belarus and Lithuanian languages; the first known example of a lament in the Lithuanian language can be found in a travel diary by J. A. Brand; the development of laments is no different from that of other genres: emerging as part the phenomena of everyday life, they evolve and endure until they vanish when circumstances change.
In the 19th and 20th centuries laments grew to resemble songs. Two types of laments can be found throughout most of Lithuania. Raudos are musical forms sung at funerals, by shepherds deploring their fate. Verkavimai are sung by the bride at her wedding. Many laments reflect the ancient Lithuanian world outlook, a unique perspective on the afterlife. Laments depict the world of the souls, where loved ones abide; the anthropomorphizing of trees is another ancient belief found in the texts of laments. Laments are improvisatory, yet the improvisations remain within the bounds of established tradition and poetics. "Professional" lamenters, hired to sing at funerals, displayed great skill in impelling their listeners to tears. Their lamentations were performed for pay: cloth, bacon, a meal
Festa de São João do Porto
Festa de São João do Porto is a festival that happens every year during Midsummer, on the night of 23 June, in the city of Porto, in the north of Portugal, thousands of people come to the city centre and more traditional neighborhoods to pay a tribute to Saint John the Baptist, in a party that mixes sacred and profane traditions. The festivities have been held in the city for more than six centuries, yet it was during the 19th century that Saint John's day became impregnated in the city's culture and assumed the status of the city's most important festival. An interesting tradition among the people of Porto during the'Festa de São João', with roots in pagan courtship rituals, is to hit each other either with garlic flowers or soft plastic hammers. In June 2004, a journalist from The Guardian commented that "Porto's Festa de São João is one of Europe's liveliest street festivals, yet it is unknown outside the country". In fact, the party starts early in the afternoon of 23 June and lasts until the morning of 24 June.
The traditional attractions of the night include street concerts, popular dancing parties, jumping over flames, eating barbecued sardines, Caldo verde and meat, drinking wine and releasing illuminated flame-propelled balloons over Porto's summer sky. At midnight, party-goers make a short break to look at the sky at Saint John's firework spectacle; the show is sophisticated, with the fireworks being associated with themes and multimedia shows. The party has Christian roots but is mixed with pagan traditions, with the fireworks embodying the spirit of tribute to the Sun; the firework mark the end of the official festivities. Yet, it is quite common for citizens of Porto to keep celebrating until 4 in the morning; some take it further. They walk from Porto's riverside core - Ribeira (for instance the parish of São Nicolau- up to the seaside in Foz or in the nearby suburb of Matosinhos where they wait for the sunrise near the sea, sometimes, take a bath in the ocean. Bonfires of Saint John St. John's Eve St. John's Day
Kupala Night, is celebrated in Ukraine, Poland and Russia during the night from 6 to 7 July. Calendar-wise, it is opposite to the winter holiday Koliada; the celebration relates to the summer solstice when nights are the shortest and includes a number of Slavic rituals. The name of the holiday was Kupala; the Ukrainian and Russian name of this holiday combines "Ivan" and Kupala, derived from the Slavic word for bathing, cognate. The two feasts could be connected by reinterpreting John's baptizing people through full immersion in water. However, the tradition of Kupala predates Christianity; the pagan celebration was adapted and reestablished as one of the native Christian traditions intertwined with local folklore. The holiday is still enthusiastically celebrated by the younger people of Eastern Europe; the night preceding the holiday is considered the night for "good humour" mischiefs. On Ivan Kupala day itself, children engage in water fights and perform pranks involving pouring water over people.
Many of the rites related to this holiday are connected with the role of water in fertility and ritual purification. This is due to the ancient Kupala rites. On Kupala day, young people jump over the flames of bonfires in a ritual test of faith; the failure of a couple in love to complete the jump, while holding hands, is a sign of their destined separation. Girls may float wreaths of flowers on rivers, attempt to gain foresight into their romantic relationship fortune from the flow patterns of the flowers on the river. Men may attempt to capture the wreaths, in the hope of capturing the interest of the woman who floated it. There is an ancient Kupala belief that the eve of Ivan Kupala is the only time of the year when ferns bloom. Prosperity, luck and power befall whom finds a fern flower. Therefore, on that night, village folk roam through the forests in search of magical herbs, the elusive fern flower. Traditionally, unmarried women, signified by the garlands in their hair, are the first to enter the forest.
They are followed by young men. Therefore, the quest to find herbs and the fern flower may lead to the blooming of relationships between pairs within the forest, it is to be noted, that ferns are not angiosperms, instead reproduce by spores. In Gogol's story The Eve of Ivan Kupala a young man finds the fantastical fern-flower, but is cursed by it. Gogol's tale may have been the stimulus for Modest Mussorgsky to compose his tone poem Night on Bald Mountain, adapted by Yuri Ilyenko into a film of the same name. St John's Eve Midsummer Wianki Kupala Kupolė Jāņi Semik — a related spring holiday. Yanka Kupala — the pen-name of this Belarusian author refers to his birthday of July 7. Loi Krathong — Thai autumn festival when people leave wreaths with candles on rivers Ukrainian Kupala traditions The Day of Ivan Kupala as it has survived in the Vologda Region Kupalle holiday in Belarus on the Official Website of the Republic of Belarus Kupala Night in Poland
Lithuania the Republic of Lithuania, is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. Lithuania is considered to be one of the Baltic states, it is situated to the east of Sweden and Denmark. It is bordered by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, Kaliningrad Oblast to the southwest. Lithuania has an estimated population of 2.8 million people as of 2019, its capital and largest city is Vilnius. Other major cities are Klaipėda. Lithuanians are Baltic people; the official language, along with Latvian, is one of only two living languages in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family. For centuries, the southeastern shores of the Baltic Sea were inhabited by various Baltic tribes. In the 1230s, the Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas, the King of Lithuania, the first unified Lithuanian state, the Kingdom of Lithuania, was created on 6 July 1253. During the 14th century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was the largest country in Europe. With the Lublin Union of 1569, Lithuania and Poland formed a voluntary two-state personal union, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth lasted more than two centuries, until neighbouring countries systematically dismantled it from 1772 to 1795, with the Russian Empire annexing most of Lithuania's territory. As World War I neared its end, Lithuania's Act of Independence was signed on 16 February 1918, declaring the founding of the modern Republic of Lithuania. In the midst of the Second World War, Lithuania was first occupied by the Soviet Union and by Nazi Germany; as World War II neared its end and the Germans retreated, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania. On 11 March 1990, a year before the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union, Lithuania became the first Baltic state to declare itself independent, resulting in the restoration of an independent State of Lithuania. Lithuania is a developed country, it is a member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, Schengen Agreement, NATO and OECD. It is a member of the Nordic Investment Bank, part of Nordic-Baltic cooperation of Northern European countries; the United Nations Human Development Index lists Lithuania as a "very high human development" country.
The first known record of the name of Lithuania is in a 9 March 1009 story of Saint Bruno in the Quedlinburg Chronicle. The Chronicle recorded a Latinized form of the name Lietuva: Litua. Due to the lack of reliable evidence, the true meaning of the name is unknown. Nowadays, scholars still debate the meaning of the word and there are a few plausible versions. Since Lietuva has a suffix, the original word should have no suffix. A candidate is Lietā; because many Baltic ethnonyms originated from hydronyms, linguists have searched for its origin among local hydronyms. Such names evolved through the following process: hydronym → toponym → ethnonym. Lietava, a small river not far from Kernavė, the core area of the early Lithuanian state and a possible first capital of the eventual Grand Duchy of Lithuania, is credited as the source of the name. However, the river is small and some find it improbable that such a small and local object could have lent its name to an entire nation. On the other hand, such a naming is not unprecedented in world history.
Artūras Dubonis proposed another hypothesis. From the middle of the 13th century, leičiai were a distinct warrior social group of the Lithuanian society subordinate to the Lithuanian ruler or the state itself; the word leičiai is used in the 14–16th-century historical sources as an ethnonym for Lithuanians and is still used poetically or in historical contexts, in the Latvian language, related to Lithuanian. The first people settled in the territory of Lithuania after the last glacial period in the 10th millennium BC: Kunda and Narva cultures, they did not form stable settlements. In the 8th millennium BC, the climate became much warmer, forests developed; the inhabitants of what is now Lithuania traveled less and engaged in local hunting and fresh-water fishing. Agriculture did not emerge until the 3rd millennium BC due to a harsh climate and terrain and a lack of suitable tools to cultivate the land. Crafts and trade started to form at this time. Over a millennium, the Indo-Europeans, who arrived in the 3rd – 2nd millennium BC, mixed with the local population and formed various Baltic tribes.
The Baltic tribes did not maintain close cultural or political contacts with the Roman Empire, but they did maintain trade contacts. Tacitus, in his study Germania, described the Aesti people, inhabitants of the south-eastern Baltic Sea shores who were Balts, around the year 97 AD; the Western Balts became known to outside chroniclers first. Ptolemy in the 2nd century AD knew of the Galindians and Yotvingians, early medieval chroniclers mentioned Old Prussians and Semigallians; the Lithuanian language is considered to be conservative for its close connection to Indo-European roots. It is believed to have differentiated from the Latvian language, the most related existing language, around the 7th century. Traditional Lithuanian pagan customs and mythology, with many archaic elements, were long preserved. Rulers' bodies were cremated up until the conversion to Christianity: the descriptions of the cremation ceremonies of the grand d
Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
The Nativity of John the Baptist is a Christian feast day celebrating the birth of John the Baptist, a prophet who foretold the coming of the Messiah in the person of Jesus, whom he baptised. Christians have long interpreted the life of John the Baptist as a preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ, the circumstances of his birth, as recorded in the New Testament, are miraculous. John's pivotal place in the gospel is seen in the emphasis Luke gives to the announcement of his birth and the event itself, both set in prominent parallel to the same occurrences in the life of Jesus; the sole biblical account of the birth of John the Baptist comes from the Gospel of Luke. John's parents, Zechariah or Zachary — a Jewish priest — and Elizabeth, were without children and both were beyond the age of child-bearing. During Zechariah's rotation to serve in the Temple in Jerusalem, he was chosen by lot to offer incense at the Golden Altar in the Holy Place; the Archangel Gabriel appeared to him and announced that he and his wife would give birth to a child, that they should name him John, a name, unfamiliar in Zechariah and Elizabeth's families.
Acts 4:6 refers to a "John" among the high priests who challenged the apostles' preaching after Pentecost, so the name was not unknown within the wider priestly family. However, because Zechariah did not believe the message of Gabriel, he was rendered speechless until the time of John's birth. At that time, his relatives wanted to name the child after his father, Zechariah wrote, "His name is John", whereupon he recovered his ability to speak. Following Zechariah's obedience to the command of God, he was given the gift of prophecy, foretold the future ministry of Jesus this prophecy forming the text of the Benedictus canticle. At the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary to inform her that she would conceive of the Holy Ghost, he informed her that Elizabeth, her cousin, was six months pregnant. Mary journeyed to visit Elizabeth. Luke's Gospel recounts; the Nativity of John the Baptist on June 24 comes three months after the celebration on March 25 of the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel told Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was in her sixth month of pregnancy, six months before the Christmas celebration of the birth of Jesus.
The purpose of these festivals is not to celebrate the exact dates of these events, but to commemorate them in an interlinking way. The Nativity of John the Baptist anticipates the feast of Christmas; the Nativity of John the Baptist is one of the oldest festivals of the Christian church, being listed by the Council of Agde in 506 as one of that region's principal festivals, where it was a day of rest and, like Christmas, was celebrated with three Masses: a vigil, at dawn, at midday. It is one of the patronal feasts of the Order of Malta. Ordinarily, the day of a saint's death is celebrated as his or her feast day, because it marks his or her dies natalis, or "birthday", into eternal life. To this rule there are two notable exceptions: the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary and that of John the Baptist. According to Catholic tradition and teaching, Mary was free from original sin from the first moment of her existence, while John was cleansed of original sin in the womb of his mother; the Nativity of John the Baptist, though not a widespread public holiday outside of Quebec and Puerto Rico, is a high-ranking liturgical feast, kept in the Roman Catholic and Lutheran Churches.
Since in the Roman Rite it is celebrated since 1970 as a Solemnity, in the 1962 form of that liturgical rite as a feast of the first class and in still earlier forms as a Double of the First Class with common Octave, it takes precedence over a Sunday on which it happens to fall. The Reformed and free churches give this celebration less prominence. Like the Birth of the Virgin, the subject is shown in art from Florence, whose patron saint John is, it was given a prosperous contemporary setting, only the presence of a halo or two distinguishes it on a desco da parto or birth tray from a secular depiction of a mother receiving visitors while lying-in. The scene in the fresco cycle of the life of John in the Tornabuoni Chapel in the church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence is the most famous, created by Domenico Ghirlandaio and his workshop between 1485 and 1490; the reformer Martin Luther wrote a hymn about baptism, "Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam", which became associated with the Baptist's day.
The feast was celebrated in Lutheran Leipzig, Johann Sebastian Bach composed three church cantatas for the occasion a chorale cantata on Luther's hymn: Ihr Menschen, rühmet Gottes Liebe, BWV 167, 24 June 1723 Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam, BWV 7, 24 June 1724 Freue dich, erlöste Schar, BWV 30, 24 June 1738 or a year In the Eastern Orthodox Church and other Eastern Christian Churches, St John the Baptist is called St John the Forerunner, a title used in the West. This title indicates that the purpose of his ministry was to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus Christ. In the Byzantine Rite, the Feast of his Nativity is celebrated on June 24, it is celebrated with an All-Night Vigil. It has an Afterfeast of one day; the feast always falls during the Apostles' Fast. In addition to the birth of John
Jāņi is an annual Latvian festival celebrating the summer solstice. Although astronomically the solstice falls on 21 or 22 June, the public holidays—Līgo Day and Jāņi Day—are on 23 and 24 June; the day before Jāņi is known as Līgosvētki. On Jāņi all people travel from the city into the countryside to gather and eat, drink and celebrate the solstice by observing the ancient folk traditions relating to renewal and fertility; the name "Līgosvētki" was first used and introduced in 1900 in his Jāņi songs collection by Emilis Melngailis, who back in 1928 wrote in the newspaper "Jaunākās Ziņas": By issuing my first collection, which included only Jāņi songs, I, on a new day – 1900 – following the spoken language, that Jānis is not Latvian, I had invented a new word Līgosvētki, which for some time suppressed the real ancient word: Jāņa diena, Jāņanakti. Plant material and used for decorative and other symbolic purposes, is important in the celebration of Jāņi. Most herbaceous plants are used, but people collect bedstraw, cow wheat and clover.
Plant material is used to decorate rooms, courtyards and woven into wreaths. Particular trees are used as sources of material for decoration. Birch boughs and oak branches are used, however aspen and alder are not as they are considered evil; some herbs were collected on Jāņi morning when covered in dew. In 1627, P. Einhorn wrote: Jāņi Day is given the power and sanctity of the herbs and its daily gathering, has great and excellent properties against fires, people's and livestock's evil plagues and diseases During Jāņi, foliage of rowan, oak and birch trees is collected and hung to decorate homes and granaries, as well as tied to gates and cars. Thorns and nettles are hung to repel evil spirits and witches. In past times, herbaceous plants were dried and fed to cows shortly after calving during winter and spring. On Zāļu Day, herbs were used to make a tea, given to sick people and livestock. On Jāņi Day, rowan twigs were tied together and used for child's fumigation, to treat sickness, anxiety, or where a child was afflicted by an evil eye.
Circular wreaths made of flowers and oak leaves are woven and worn on the head. Different types of plants are used to make wreaths for females. Women and girls wear wreaths made from flowers and herbs, it is believed that wreaths braided with twenty seven flowers and herbs prevents disasters and diseases, repels enemies. Men and boys wear. Oak wreaths were thought to promise the blessing of horses and bees. Together with Jāņi cheese and fires, wreaths are symbols of the sun. During Jāņi, fires are burned from sunset till next morning; this practice reflects the belief. It is believed that fires should be burned at a high point in the landscape, from which the light of the fire bestows power and fertility on the fields and people on which it shines. Leaping over the Jāņi fire is said to bring good luck and health through the coming year. While fires are wood-fuelled, tar barrels or tarred wheels hoisted on poles are burned. Singing Līgo songs or Jāņi songs is associated with the promotion of fertility, acquisition of good fortune and prevention of calamity.
The singing of Līgo songs began two weeks before Jāņi, reached its highest point on Jāņi Eve and lasted until Peter or Māras Day —a period of around a month. After that, the singing of Līgo songs ceased until the next year. Singing Ligo songs on Jāņi night begins after dinner and continues throughout the night until the rising of the sun, either during jumping over Fire of Jāņi, or while going from houses to houses. Singing visits on Jāņi were called aplīgošana, servants visited their masters, maidens visited young men and vice versa. On Jāņi Day people drink beer and eat cheese, believing that it will promote the growth of barley and production of cow milk in the next summer. Singing visitors from neighbouring houses are treated with beer. There is a belief that on Jāņi morning, milk witches were running on dew and shouted: "Everything to me, everything to me!" If anyone heard it, they must respond with: "I butchered half of them!" There would be no shortage of milk. Witches are believed to have disguised themselves as normal women by dressing in white robes and letting their hair loose.
Once disguised, it is believed that they would set spells or curses on the fields and livestock of their enemies. It was believed that whoever found a fern flower would gain wealth and happiness and learn the secrets of the past and future. "Whoever acquires the fern flower will be happy, because it can make anything they want to come true. The flower is hindered by evil spirits and only a brave person can get it". "On Jāņi Night, jump eight times around eight while on a broom handle, hoisted from a ground. During this time do not laugh. Once you have done so hop on the broom shaft astride to the nearest fern patch, but only on your own you will see the blossoming of a fern flower". Women and young maidens made wreaths on the heads and all sang together and went to play roundelays, it is believed. John the Baptist Day celebration during the summer solstice time was known throughout the Christian world. Since 1584, Balthasar Russow wrote in his Chronicle of Livonia, that "All over the great
Romuva is a modern reinstitution of the traditional ethnic religion of the Baltic peoples, reviving the ancient religious practices of the Lithuanians before their Christianization in 1387. Romuva claims to continue living Baltic pagan traditions, they share similarities with ancient Hinduism. Romuva is a polytheistic pagan faith which asserts the sanctity of ancestor worship. Practising the Romuva faith is seen by many adherents as a form of cultural pride, along with celebrating traditional forms of art, retelling Baltic folklore, practising traditional holidays, playing traditional Baltic music, singing traditional dainas or hymns and songs as well as ecological activism and stewarding sacred places; the community was organized and led by krivių krivaitis Jonas Trinkūnas until his death in 2014. He was buried according to the old Baltic traditions, his wife Inija Trinkūnienė was chosen as the new krivė and her ordination was held on May 31, 2015 in Vilnius on the Gediminas Hill. She is the first woman to become krivė in the long pagan history.
Romuva exists in Lithuania but there are congregations of adherents in Australia, the United States, England. There are Romuvans in Norway, for whom a formal congregation is being organized. There are believers including Dievturība in Latvia. According to the 2001 census, there were 1,270 people of Baltic faith in Lithuania; that number jumped to 5,118 in the 2011 census. The terms Romuva, Romovė and Ruomuva came from medieval written sources in East Prussia mentioning the pagan Baltic temple Romowe; the word has meanings of "temple" and "sanctuary", further "abode of inner peace". The Baltic root ram-/rām-, from which Romuva derives, has the meaning of'calm, quiet', stemming from the Proto-Indo-European *remǝ-. Whatever religion the original inhabitants of the Baltic region had predates recorded history. Mesolithic hunters and anglers of the region practised a religion focused on their occupations. Marija Gimbutas controversially suggested that agrarian settlers of around 3500–2500 BCE were examples of earth-worshiping Old Europeans.
After this, Indo-Europeans entered the area and brought with them their Proto-Indo-European religion. This religion, including elements from the religious past of the region, evolved into the paganism, attested in the Middle Ages and later; the adherents of this Baltic religion prospered unhindered until the 9th century when they began to come under pressure from outside Christian forces. The Annals of Quedlinburg mention a missionary, Bruno of Querfurt, killed along with 18 men by Yotvingians while attempting to convert the pagans in the area of Lithuania and Prussia in 1009 CE; this was the first time. Other sources suggest Bruno had been killed for violating The Holy Forest and destroying statues of gods. Beginning in 1199, the Roman Catholic Church declared crusades against Baltic pagans. Grand Duke Mindaugas was Christianized with his family and warriors in 1251 so that the Crusades may be ended by the Church, but Mindaugas still worshiped pagan deities. He sacrificed to the pagan Supreme god, Perkūnas, *Teliavelis, *Žvorūna.
Despite any insincerity and realpolitik in his Christian faith, some subsidiary states of Mindaugas' Grand Duchy rebelled in protest. In 1261 Mindaugas renounced his Christian faith as his official conversion failed to placate the Crusaders. In the face of Crusaders, by the time of Grand Duke Gediminas, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania expanded its influence until it formed the political centre of a vast and prosperous "pagan Empire". Lithuanians thus survived late into history as appreciable representatives of ancient European paganism, preserving this tradition as the official, state religion until the late 14th and early 15th centuries when Christianity was accepted by the states of the Grand Duchy, again for political reasons. Lithuanians were thus the last non-nomadic people in Europe practicing Indo-European polytheism; the Sami, who remained nomadic, were the exception, but they did not form a state of their own or speak an Indo-European language. Unofficially, Lithuanians continued in their adherence to traditional paganism.
The Romantic epoch started in the 19th century. This led Lithuanians to look back to their past for both spiritual inspiration; the national revival started and Lithuanian intelligentsia idealised ancient paganism and folklore. Some historians wanted to prove the beauty of ancient polytheism and started creating new aspects of Lithuanian mythology. One of the most famous of these was Theodor Narbutt who edited Ancient Greek myths and created new Lithuanian ones. In the beginning of the 20th century, ancient pagan traditions were still continued in folklore and customs. People were celebrating ancient pagan festivals mixed with Christian traditions; such festivals include Vėlinės, Užgavėnės, Rasos or Joninės. For Užgavėnės, people in Samogitia may dress in costumes including masks and burn an idol of an old lady, called Morė or Giltine, goddess of death; the philosopher Vydūnas is taken as a sort of founding father of Romuva. He promoted awareness of and participation in pagan festivals. Vydūnas saw Christianity as foreign to Lithuanians, instead he brought his attention to what he saw as the spiritual vision of the adherents of the traditional Baltic religion.
He ascribed to this a sense of awe in their cosmology, as they saw the univers