It had been a quiet day in the office when a coworker rapped on my door with offerings of cake (which I believe I have correctly identified as sakotis). Never one to turn down cake, I invited my co worker in and tried to figure out why I was being treated to cake on an otherwise silent Monday morning. “Oh, it’s the summer solstice,” she replied before telling me to enjoy my day off. Day off? Well, that explains why the office was so quiet.
If the summer solstice had been on my holiday radar I would have planned something more exciting, but it’s not something Americans really celebrate-- other than enjoying a few extra minutes of sunshine, I suppose. It’s a big deal in Lithuania, (as well as all other Baltic nations) though. For hundreds of years, Lithuanians have oscillated in between pagan and christian religions so many times that the summer solstice, or St. John’s Day, is now celebrated as mashup of the two. It’s part traditional christian holiday, part adorning yourself in floral wreaths and jumping over fire pits.
Unfortunately, the endless rain made this particular summer solstice feel more naiad than dryad. It’s been a rainy spring, but I’m crossing my fingers that the solstice turns all that around. It’s a midway point, after all, and there is no reason not to assume that a day signifying the start of summer can’t bring promises of warm, dry weather.
Speaking of midway points, it looks like I’m quickly approaching the midway point of my time here in Lithuania. Feels like so much has happened already, but also like I just stepped off the plane. There’s a lot coming up in the next few weeks, so I have a feeling my remaining weeks here will go by just as fast.
In other news, the 27th Annual Baltic Criminology Conference is taking place later this week, so I’ll be posting some cool updates about the conference and crime in the baltics later on this week.
So, on the longest days of the year I’ll keep my entry short and try to enjoy what’s left of the daylight.