Balts show Germans how to celebrate the summer solstice

  • 2000-06-29
  • By Vineta Lagzdina
RIGA - Flames from the 100-meter-high Funkturm radio tower illuminated the common celebration of the summer solstice by the three Baltic states on June 23, held in Berlin for the first time.

"Nordic-Baltic Traditions in Berlin: Summer Solstice 2000" was organized to demonstrate to the German community that the Baltic states share an ancient summer solstice tradition that's still alive and flourishing today.

Oak-leaf and wild-flower wreaths girdled the heads of Baltic men and women as they danced and sang under a blue sky. The lively dancing of the folkloric Dandari ensemble represented Latvia, and each Baltic state presented its national cuisine and handicrafts.

The Baltic embassies organized an information stand with travel information about Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

Last year's celebration included only Lithuanian guests, but was so overwhelmingly popular, the director of the European Academy in Berlin, Eckart Schratenshulte, said that it was decided to invite neighboring Balts, "to familiarize Berlin society with the Baltic countries, their people and culture and to overcome mental barriers."

This year's celebration was a huge success and aroused an enthusiastic interest in the Baltic states, so that it was clear to Latvia's ambassador in Germany, Andris Teikmanis, that a Baltic summer solstice in Berlin will be an event next year as well. It could even become a tradition.

BNS contributed to this article.