Christmas in Latvia by Viviana

Children in Latvia believe that Santa Claus (also known as Ziemassvetku Vecitis – Old Christmas Man ) brings their presents. The present are usually put under the Christmas tree. The presents are opened on during the evening of Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day.

Often the presents are secretly put under the tree when people are not around (such as when people are at Church). Sometimes to get a present you have to recite a short poem while standing next to the Christmas Tree! Before Christmas children learn to say poems by heart. You might also get a present by singing, playing a musical instrument of doing a dance!

Christmas in Latvia by Saeima [CC BY-SA 2.0]

Christmas in Latvia by Saeima [CC BY-SA 2.0]

Latvia also claims to be the home of the first Christmas Tree! The first documented use of an evergreen tree at Christmas and New Year celebrations is in town square of Riga, the capital city of Latvia, in the year 1510. Lots of people think the Christmas Tree first came from Germany, but the first recorded one is in Latvia!

The special Latvian Christmas Day meal is cooked brown/grey peas with bacon (pork) sauce, small pies, cabbage and sausage, bacon rolls and ginger bread.

You can find more about Riga Tree from this great website:

Sources

Home of the first Christmas Tree….it`s a Legend, http://www.firstchristmastree.com, accessed 17th December, 2014

Mājas pušķošana
Ziemassvētkiem gatavojoties, tīrīja un uzkopa māju, pēc tam to pušķoja. Mājā ienesa eglīti, kurai bija īpaša nozīme; vēsturiski tā nāk no senču dzīvības koka, ko ziemas saulgriežos ienesa namā. Pušķošanai izmantoja egļu zarus, krāsainus dzīparus, salmus, smilgas, putnu spalvas, olas, augļus, dārzeņus, ēveļu skaidas un kaltētus ziedus. Sevišķi populāra bija puzuru veidošana. Tie tika izgatavoti no salmu savērumiem, ko papildināja ar dažādiem citiem materiāliem, piemēram, krāsainām lupatiņām vai putnu spalvām. Dažreiz puzura vidū tika iekārts kartupelis, kurā sadurti salmi. Šāds veidojums tika dēvēts par saulīti. Rotājumus visbiežāk darināja bērni, ieliekot tajos savu mīlestību un bērna sirds skaidrību. Tāpēc šādiem veidojumiem piemita īpaša enerģētika. Arī mūsdienās uzskata, ka tie lieliski attīra telpu no nevēlamām enerģijām, par cik puzuriem ir daudzskaldņa forma, kas sastāv no daudzām mazām piramīdiņām.

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