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Jani

Experience the magic of Jani, a Latvian festival filled with bonfires, traditional songs and dances, and delicious food to celebrate the summer solstice!
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When it is?
June 24
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Category
Cultural
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Country
Latvia
Introduction

Get ready to celebrate the longest day of the year with Jani, the Latvian festival honoring the summer solstice on June 24! This festival has been celebrated for centuries in Latvia, dating back to pagan times when people would gather to welcome the arrival of summer and celebrate new beginnings. It's a time for community, music, dancing, and traditional foods like honey cake and beer. The highlight of the festival is the lighting of bonfires, symbolizing the power of fire and its ability to ward off evil spirits. So mark your calendars and get ready for a joyous celebration of nature and new beginnings!

History of Jani

Jani Dates

Jani Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1800s</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Pagan Origins</div><div class='timeline-text'>The holiday, stemming from Latvia's pagan past, is celebrated by singing traditional songs, dancing and lighting bonfires to ward off evil spirits.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1928</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Multi-day Celebrations</div><div class='timeline-text'>Jani began to transform from a one-day celebration to a multi-day festival of song, dance, and food that lasts until dawn.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1950</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Soviet Era Celebrations</div><div class='timeline-text'>Despite Soviet attempts to suppress traditional holidays, Latvians continued to celebrate Jani discreetly as a symbol of national identity.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1991</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Revival Post Independence</div><div class='timeline-text'>Following Latvia's independence from the Soviet Union, the celebration of Jani saw a robust revival, reconnecting Latvians with their cultural heritage.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2008</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>UNESCO Recognition</div><div class='timeline-text'>Jani rituals became recognised by the UNESCO as part of the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Jani

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Attend a bonfire celebration</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>The centerpiece of Jani is the bonfire, which symbolizes the sun and its power. Attend a traditional bonfire celebration and join in on the festive atmosphere.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Wear traditional Latvian clothing</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Embrace the culture by wearing traditional Latvian clothing, such as the white linen shirts and flower crowns often worn during Jani celebrations.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Make a flower wreath</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Another important symbol of Jani is the flower wreath, which is worn on the head during celebrations. Gather some flowers and make your own wreath to wear and show off your creative skills.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Try traditional Latvian foods</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>No festival is complete without delicious food! Try traditional Latvian dishes such as caraway cheese, rye bread, and piragi (bacon buns) to fully immerse yourself in the Jani celebration.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Participate in traditional folk dances</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Folk dances are a big part of Jani celebrations. Join in on the fun by learning some traditional Latvian dances and dancing the night away with friends and family.</p></div></div>

Why We Love Jani

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It celebrates the longest day of the year</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Jani is a traditional Latvian festival that celebrates the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. It's a time to embrace the warmth and light of summer and mark the change in seasons with joy and celebration.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It's a time to connect with nature</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Jani festivities often include traditional rituals and practices that honor nature, such as jumping over bonfires or making flower wreaths. This is a great opportunity to reconnect with the natural world and appreciate its beauty and importance in our lives.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It's a time for community and togetherness</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Jani is a time for friends and family to come together and celebrate. It's a chance to strengthen bonds, create new memories, and enjoy traditional Latvian food and music. In a busy world, this festival reminds us of the importance of community and connection.</p></div></div>

5 Enlightening Facts About the Latvian Festival "Jani"

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Everybody is called Jānis or Līga on this day</h3><p class='facts-content'>On this celebratory day, regardless of their actual names, everyone is referred to as Jānis (male) or Līga (female) which symbolizes unity and togetherness.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Jani is celebrated with unique decorations</h3><p class='facts-content'>On the Eve of Jāni, homes and barns are decorated with birch, oak, and rowan branches. The decor is believed to bring good luck and keep away evil spirits.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>People "wash" themselves with morning dew</h3><p class='facts-content'>It's a popular belief that washing with morning dew on Jani day can improve one's health and youthfulness.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>People sing more than a thousand Latvian folk songs during Jāni</h3><p class='facts-content'>Singing Jāņi themed folk songs is an integral part of the festival. There are over a thousand songs dedicated to Jani night celebrations.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Search for the magical fern blossom</h3><p class='facts-content'>Old folklore states that on Jani night, the elusive fern blossoms. While ferns don't bloom, searching for the elusive fern flower at night is a popular tradition symbolizing luck and prosperity.</p></div></div>

Jani FAQs

When is Jani?

Jani is celebrated on June 24 every year. In 2024 Jani will occur on a Monday.

Jani Dates

Year
Date
Day

2023

Jun 24

Saturday

2024

Jun 24

Monday

2025

Jun 24

Tuesday

2026

Jun 24

Wednesday

2027

Jun 24

Thursday

Cultural Holidays