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Meteņi (Latvian pronunciation: [met̪eɲi] ) or Metenis is an ancient Latvian spring waiting holiday, that ends on Ash Wednesday, which is followed by Lent. Meteņi is celebrated in February or early March, seven weeks before Lieldienas.
The Meteņi celebration preserved the ancient traditions of New Year's Eve, because ancient Indo-European people celebrated New Year's Eve in mid-February. This came from the early Latvian word "meti", which meant turn of time, gauge. The original meaning is preserved in the word "laikmets" (era). Lithuanian word "metai" even now means "year".
In Livonian populated regions and Riga, this celebration is known as Fastelavn (possibly originating from German Fastnacht - hunger night). Elsewhere, it is also called Lastavāgs, Aizgavēnis, Miesmetis, Buduļi Eve, and Pie Day. Lithuanians call it užgavėnės , while Estonians call it vastlapäev. To Russians and other Orthodox Christian peoples this festival is known as Maslenitsa (Russian: Масленица, Belorussian : масьленіца, Ukrainian : масниця).
Elsewhere in Europe and America, this festival coincides with the carnival time and referred to as Shrove Tuesday (French: Mardi Gras, German: Fastnachtsdienstag, Italian: Martedì grasso, English: Shrove Tuesday[ citation needed ]) or "Pancake Day". In Latin countries, it is called carnival, carnaval or "meat balls", and it is the holiday of overeating, after which comes Lent. It is also has a connection with Roman Empire's time to celebrate traditions of April Fools' Day on April 1. During it happens a mask parade (masquerade), all sorts of performances, and immoderate blowout and drinking. To bid a farewell to Winter, they burned a year-old allegorical serpent or dragon, straw dolls, and logs, whose ashes are spread across the land so that the New Year would be fruitful.
Meteņi is about people eating and drinking as much as they wanted. During this time pigs were slaughtered, so the traditional holiday dishes were pig's head and fritters. Parents threw gifts to their children from above the room, as if Laima threw her gifts from above the heaven. As with every winter holiday, ķekatas were traveling the country and paid visits to people. There is a belief that the longer Meteņi is celebrated, the better the harvest is expected following summer. The Solstice bonfire is burned while performing rituals of tying a witch's tongue and donations. The campfire is used to burn last summer's Jāņi festive wreaths. [ citation needed ]The straw is often burned and in some places, the straws are handmade into characters, which is primarily removed from hills and then burned to drive winter away.
Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, refers to events of the Carnival celebration, beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday", reflecting the practice of the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.
Carnival is a Western Christian festive season that occurs before the liturgical season of Lent. The main events typically occur during February or early March, during the period historically known as Shrovetide. Carnival typically involves public celebrations, including events such as parades, public street parties and other entertainments, combining some elements of a circus. Elaborate costumes and masks allow people to set aside their everyday individuality and experience a heightened sense of social unity. Participants often indulge in excessive consumption of alcohol, meat, and other foods that will be forgone during upcoming Lent. Traditionally, butter, milk, and other animal products were not consumed "excessively", rather, their stock was fully consumed as to reduce waste. Pancakes, donuts, and other desserts were prepared and eaten for a final time. During Lent, animal products are eaten less, and individuals have the ability to make a Lenten sacrifice, thus giving up a certain object or activity of desire.
Ziemassvētki, also Ziemsvētki is an annual festival in Latvia which observes the winter solstice and birth of Jesus Christ. Latvians around the world celebrate it from 24 to 26 December. 24 December is Ziemassvētki Eve, 25 December is The First Ziemassvētki, while 26 December is the Second Ziemassvētki. Christianity traditionally celebrates the birthday of Jesus Christ on 25 December, according to the Julian calendar, but Orthodox churches follow the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar and, as a result, the majority of Orthodox churches celebrate Ziemassvētki on 6, 7 and 8 January.
Jāņi is an annual Latvian festival celebrating the summer solstice. Although astronomically the solstice falls on 21 or 22 June, the public holidays—Līgo Day and Jāņi Day—are on 23 and 24 June. The day before Jāņi is known as Līgosvētki.
A bonfire is a large but controlled outdoor fire, used either for informal disposal of burnable waste material or as part of a celebration.
Shrove Tuesday is the day in February or March immediately preceding Ash Wednesday, which is celebrated in some countries by consuming pancakes. In others, especially those where it is called Mardi Gras or some translation thereof, this is a carnival day, and also the last day of "fat eating" or "gorging" before the fasting period of Lent.
Septuagesima is the name for the ninth Sunday before Easter, the third before Ash Wednesday. The term is sometimes applied to the seventy days starting on Septuagesima Sunday and ending on the Saturday after Easter. Alternatively, the term is sometimes applied also to the period commonly called Shrovetide or Gesimatide that begins on this day and ends on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins.
Fasnacht is a fried doughnut of German origin served traditionally in the days of Carnival and Fastnacht or on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent starts. Fasnachts were made as a way to empty the pantry of lard, sugar, fat, and butter, which were traditionally fasted from during Lent.
Fat Thursday is a traditional Christian feast marking the last Thursday before Lent and is associated with the celebration of Carnival. Because Lent is a time of fasting, the days leading up to Ash Wednesday provide the last opportunity for feasting until Laetare Sunday, and after that not until Easter. Traditionally it is a day dedicated to eating, when people meet in their homes or cafés with their friends and relatives and eat large quantities of sweets, cakes and other meals usually not eaten during Lent. Among the most popular all-national dishes served on that day are pączki in Poland or berliner, fist-sized donuts filled with rose hip jam, and angel wings (faworki), French dough fingers served with powdered sugar.
Shrovetide, also known as the Pre-Lenten Season, is the Christian period of preparation before the beginning of the liturgical season of Lent. Shrovetide starts on Septuagesima Sunday, includes Sexagesima Sunday, Quinquagesima Sunday, as well as Shrove Monday, and culminates on Shrove Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras. One hallmark of Shrovetide is the merrymaking associated with Carnival. On the final day of the season, Shrove Tuesday, many traditional Christians, such as Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and Roman Catholics, "make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God's help in dealing with."
Shrove Monday, sometimes known as Collopy Monday, Rose Monday, Merry Monday or Hall Monday, is a Christian observance falling on the Monday before Ash Wednesday every year. A part of the English traditional Shrovetide celebrations of the week before Lent, the Monday precedes Shrove Tuesday. As the Monday before Ash Wednesday, it is part of diverse Carnival celebrations which take place in many parts of the Christian world, from Greece, to Germany, to the Mardi Gras and Carnival of the Americas.
Maslenitsa is an Eastern Slavic religious and folk holiday, celebrated during the last week before Great Lent, that is, the eighth week before Eastern Orthodox Pascha (Easter). Maslenitsa corresponds to the Western Christian Carnival, except that Orthodox Lent begins on a Monday instead of a Wednesday, and the Orthodox date of Easter can differ greatly from the Western Christian date.
Rosenmontag is the highlight of the German Karneval (carnival), and takes place on the Shrove Monday before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Mardi Gras, though celebrated on Fat Tuesday, is a similar event. Rosenmontag is celebrated in German-speaking countries, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium, but most heavily in the carnival strongholds which include the Rhineland, especially in Cologne, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Aachen and Mainz. In contrast to Germany, in Austria, the highlight of the carneval is not Rosenmontag, but Shrove Tuesday.
Užgavėnės is a Lithuanian festival that takes place during the seventh week before Easter. Its name in English means "the time before Lent". The celebration corresponds to Roman Catholic holiday traditions in other parts of the world, such as Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, and Carnaval.
Laskiainen is a celebration with Finnish origins, which includes both pagan and ecclesiastic traditions, and is often described as a "mid-winter sliding festival".
A variety of customs and traditions are associated with Carnival celebrations in the German-speaking countries of Germany, Switzerland and Austria. They can vary considerably from country to country, but also from one small region to another. This is reflected in the various names given to these festivities occurring before Lent.
Tsiknopempti, literally Smelly Thursday, or even Charred, Smoky, or Barbeque Thursday "because of the smell of the grilled meat in the air", is part of the traditional celebrations for Carnival season in Greece and Cyprus.
The Cwarmê is a carnival which takes place in the city of Malmedy (Belgium). It lasts four days and is listed as intangible heritage of the French Community of Belgium. The carnival begins at midnight on the Friday before Lent and lasts until midnight on Shrove Tuesday.
Slavic carnivals are known under different names in various Slavic countries: Bulgarian:Сирни заговезни, Прошка, Russian: Масленица, Мясопуст, Polish: Mięsopust, Zapusty, Czech: Masopust, Šibřinky, Ostatky, Slovak: Fašiangy, Slovene: Mesopȗst, Pust, Pustni teden, Fašnk, Serbian: Покладе, Poklade, Croatian: Pust, Poklade, Mesopust. They are traditional Slavic festivals related to the period of carnival.