What is the Feast of Rasos?

It is the time when the sun reaches its zenith, and Nature is in full bloom.

All that is alive on earth is called to join in to the celebration of life, to take strength, renew, and celebrate…

The feast has been celebrated since time immemorial, not only by Lithuanians but also by other surrounding nations and tribes, the celebratory customs of which have numerous shared characteristics and symbols that still endure nowa-days. Among the Baltic nations, the feast has always been of great importance. Therefore, even during the Soviet years it was brought back to life and celebrated in secret, despite the threat of serious trouble for those who participated in it.

The names of the feast changed with time: Rasos¹, Kupolės², Joninės³ (St. John’s feast); however, its main features remained,

and now we try to guess their meaning and interpret it in a new way of our own.

The descriptions of rites and rituals presented here are based on the insights of ethnoculture researchers (J. Vaiškūnas, L. Klimka, A. Žarskus, and others), yet we leave a right to everyone participating in the celebration to describe the meaning of each ritual, as what matters most is for us all to become a unique part of the celebration.


[1] Rasos, or the Feast of Rasa (dew) is linked to a mythical goddess Rasa, the restorer of vegetation (P. Dundulienė); however,  the name is mostly associated with the morning dew as the main manifestation of life, which has great significance and healing power around the time of the feast (Vydija).
[2] Kupolės comes from the word “to flourish, to grow well” (Lith. kupėtikupoti). The name is associated with one of the most ancient ritual elements of the feast – Kupolė, – and herb and flower picking (Lith. kupoliavimas). The sound of the word is close to the Slavonic Kupala, since in the eastern Slavonic regions the feast used to be know by the name of Ivan Kupala (this was the translation of the name of St. John the Baptist).   
[3] Joninės (St. John’s feast) – the Christian name of the ancient festivities, linked to the feast of St. John the Baptist on the 24th of June.