Friday, February 21, 2014

Love Around the World with Angelina Rain

Angelina Rain shares interesting customs from the country of her birth on today's Love Around the World with Evernight Authors! Take us away, Angelina...

The Burning of the Winter Witch
I was born in Kaunas, the second largest city in Lithuania. Lithuania is a small country of about 3 million people located in Northern Europe, neighboring Poland, Latvia, Belarus, and the Baltic Sea. Although settlers have set up tribes in pre-historic Lithuania, it was united into a country in 1230's under the rule of King Mindaugas, the first ruler of the Baltic land.

Originally a Pagan nation, they fought against the Teutonic Knights (a group of German and Livonian Catholics, similar to the Knights Templar, who tried to convert Lithuanians to Christianity) from the early 1200's to the 1380's when they were finally forced to convert. Since Lithuania was one of the last countries in Europe to convert, many Pagan traditions survived, and are still celebrated today. Since this is February, and I'm sure we're all ready to kiss the snowflakes goodbye and say hello to some flowers, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite Lithuanian holidays—Uzgavenes.

Uzgavenes is usually celebrated the night before Ash Wednesday. Although now days the day of the celebration ranges depending on the Roman Catholic Church's calendar, traditionally, the Lithuanian Pagan's celebrated it on the last day of February. It's compared to Mardi Gras or Halloween as people dress in costumes, ranging from witches to devils, the grim reaper and evil gypsies. People parade the streets, and kids knock on doors, begging their neighbors for pancakes (now-a-days they beg for candy). There is singing and yelling as the nation comes together to scare the daylights out of winter. As the day goes on, everyone meets in the town square where they burn a witch named More (Pronounced Moré), a human-sized ragdoll or scarecrow representing the cold and the snowy winter. As the Winter Witch burns, two men fight in the snow. One is Lašininis (meaning Bacon Man) who represents winter, the other is Kanapinis (Hemp Man) who represents spring. At the end of the fight, Kanapinis always wins, same as spring always wins against winter.

Although the day was originally steeped in tradition, and people truly believed after they burn the Winter Witch, spring will follow, today it's just a day to drink, eat, and celebrate. Now who is ready to burn the Winter Witch and scare winter away for another year? Speaking of witches, have you checked out His Guardian Witch yet?


       Is love stronger than magic?

       Morgan has never encountered a spell she couldn’t cast or a curse she couldn’t break. With her natural knack for witchcraft, she runs a magic store that helps others. When a handsome but cursed man walks into her store, she is pit against magic stronger than her own.

        Daniel lived an ordinary life before he ended up on a witch’s bad side and was jinxed with non-stop bad luck. Out of sheer desperation he visits Morgan’s Magic Shop. Morgan agrees to help him and they must work together to find the witch and pinpoint the hex she used in order to undo it. As they search, feelings ignite and a romance blossoms. Will this bad luck spell end their love, or will their love be strong enough to break the incantation?

Be Warned: sex toys

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