Romuvan Pagan Ceremony in Lithuania, ii Wikipedia

Charms and superstitions of pagan Lithuanians

Lithuania remained pagan until the late Middle Ages and, as such, was an object of curiosity as well as hostility for Christian Europe. Paganism, wrote thirteenth-century Franciscan scholar Bartholomew the Englishman, was “ritus mirabilis”. Christian scholars who described pagan rituals did not shy away from negative stereotyping, although sometimes their writings give neutral, almost ethnographic descriptions.

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Grand Duchy of Lithuania

Witchcraft, holy trees and Lithuania’s last pagans

Lithuanians, the last pagans of Europe, took their time to fully embrace Christianity in their daily lives and mixed it with older pagan rites. The religious sensibilities of Lithuanian peasants in the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries is a topic of a new study by historian Vytautas Ališauskas. […]

No Picture

‘There is no institution like the Vatican in Islam that can excommunicate extremist Muslims’

There were some 13 million Muslims living in Europe several years ago, according to Pew Research Center, and several more million have come from Syria and Iraq over the last few years. Professor Egdūnas Račius of the Kaunas-based Vytautas Magnus University says that religion is not always the right lens through which to look at and make sense of the world’s Muslims. […]

Kęstutis Girnius

Opinion: Refugees, Germany and we

The current rush of refugees is arguably the greatest challenge for the European Union throughout its history. One should hope that the crisis can be solved without endangering the overall European project. […]

Nerija Putinaitė

Philosopher Nerija Putinaitė on three Lithuanian Europes

As Lithuania has been a member of a great supranational union for a decade now, Lithuanians are forced to confront the question of their collective identity, says philosopher Nerija Putinaitė. In her new book, “Three Lithuanian Europes: Nation, Europe, the EU in modern identity”, she argues that the question of what it means to be Lithuanian closely relates to visions of Europe. […]

St. John’s Day bonfire in Trakų Vokė

Old St. John’s Day traditions giving up to shashliks, beer and fireworks

Jumping over the traditional Midsummer bonfire and searches of the fern bloom in the modern times is more and more often accompanied with shashliks on the grill, full mugs of beer and powerful firecrackers to wrap up the festival. […]