Back then in Latvia, we didn’t celebrate X-mas.
We did celebrate the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year.
Honoring the Sun goddess, who was reborn every December 22.
And mother/goddess Māra, who is the symbol of the world of matter – she encompasses all of the material existence.
We people of the Baltics were the last pagans of Europe, which in my experience was living in harmony with the repeating rhythms of Nature.
Observing it, respecting and learning from/ about and using natural remedies to heal the body and improve well being.
And positive & optimistic attitude towards life.
Homes got decorated by our own creations from straw, dried flowers & fruits, feathers, colored yarn and fir branches & tree.
The ancient celebration holds many different traditions, but we spent it rather quietly – most probably because of the occupation by communists.
On the day we used to walk through the majestic forest coated in snow, to my grandma, who had prepared several traditional dishes like grey peas, roast pork, baked potatoes, Sauer kraut and pastries with bacon.
We got a pair of handcrafted wool socks and if very lucky an orange or two.
After Latvia got free from occupation people adapted the Christmas celebration.
I never liked, and I still don’t like it much.
It’s a consumers party.
However, I have celebrated because of children.
The real celebration for me still is the Solstice.
Though I don’t make straw decorations or eat the traditional food.
I celebrate it by reflecting and holding a little releasing ceremony by candlelight and holding a vision/ wish for myself, my family/ friends and the planet.
Dwelling on love and sending blessings to every living being.