The psychobabbling food-loving seamstress.

Merry Christmas / Ruumsaid juulup / Prieci’gus Ziemsve’tkus un Laimi’gu Jauno Gadu!

Posted in Uncategorized by Ambs on December 12, 2010

So this year, I want to do something a little bit different with my family, I want to inject some of our Estonian / Latvian roots into our Christmas cheer…

We usually make Pirag, which is a sweet dough with a bacon and onion mix in it, and they taste DIVINE!  I am going to make some next weekend, and take a whole heap to work with me, as I’ve been talking about them non-stop.. 🙂

Legend has it that the first Decorated Christmas Tree was actually put up in the Medieval Square in Riga, Latvia in 1510.  This tradition has been kept for 350 years.   People from all around go to see the decoration of the Christmas Tree in Medieval Square to this day.

There are two stories that are told about the first Christmas Tree;

The first is of three men in black hats, who went into the forest, and decorated a tree, then burnt it down after they performed pagan rituals.

The second is of Martin Luther, which is actually said to be set in Northern Germany, in which he lit candles on the tree.

The lighting of the candles on the tree, is akin to the countdown and advent of Christmas.  The lights also symbolise the lighting of candles to encourage Mitras (the pagan God of Sun) to reappear next year.  Mistletoe was also seen as a sacred plant in pagan rituals, and kissing under the mistletoe began as a fertility ritual.

One of the hardest things to fathom (and also makes me thankful that my Nanna and Grandad settled in Australia) is that during the 50 years of Soviet Occupation of the three Baltic States is that Christmas was actually banned.  They were not allowed to celebrate their Christmas traditions.

To be continued…

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