Folk tales in Latvia and Lithuania are filled with magical and mysterious stories about gods, goddesses and mythical beings. Pantheon of Baltic deities is very matriarchal in both countries. Saulé the cosmological mother is ruler goddess of the Lithuanian pantheon and in Latvia every little thing that occurs in nature and in the life of humans has their own mate the primal mother. Oldest layers in the myths tell us a lot about the worship of the ancestors, world view that was based on the idea of re-carnation in nature. Earth was sacred for the Balts and it was something to respect. This list contains most well-known Baltic deities, pagan holidays and festivals connected to agrarian wheel of the year, minor nature spirits and the symbolism connected to them.
Auseklis – God of the dawn. Morning star.
Biezputras Diena – Porridge day. In the old times symbolical porridge was replaced with water and taken up to hills. Water was used to initiate new shephards to their tasks.
Cela Mate – (Mother of roads) Protector goddess of roads and travelers.
Darza mate – Protector goddess of gardens.
Dekla - Giver and taker of material goods. Incarnations: swan, lamb, rock, duck and goose. Dekla was specially important goddess in western Latvia. She is one of the triple aspects of Laima the goddess of faith.
Dievs - God of the skies, light, peace, order, justice and cultural values. In Latvian mythology leader of the gods is both masculine and feminine. Feminine side of Dievs is the goddess Mara.
Dveselu diena – Day of the souls. Latvian all hallow´s eve when spirits of the ancestors had ability to visit their living friends and relatives.
Gaušu mate – Goddess of slowness and lazyness.
Jani – Summer Solstice. Feast dedicated to Janis, god of summer. Fire festival that included lots of love spells. Still celebrated in modern day Latvia with good food and bonfires.
Janis – God of summer. Bringer of abundance and plenty. Connected to summer solstice. Son of the sky god Dievs.
Jekaba Diena – 24th of July. Start of the harvest.
Jumis – Latvian god of skies and fruitfulness.
Juras mate – Protector goddesss of water, goddess of sea. Protector of sailors.
Jurģi - 23rd of April. Feast to celebrate god Usinš. Shape sifter god who in Autumn time became god Martinš. Jurgi was happy day for farmers. Festivities included food, dance, music and casting spells. Mead, bread and beer was sacrificed for nature spirits. In earlier times there was a custom to sacrifice a black rooster for the god.
Kalvis – Heavenly smith.
Kapu mate – Protector goddess of graves. Protector goddess of graveyards and cemetaries.
Karta – One of the aspects of Laima the goddess of faith.
Krumu mate – Protector goddess of bushes.
Kuka mate – Goddess of wine. Protector of drinking and smoking.
Kustonu diena – 17th of March. Day connected to insects. Time to till new plants and trees.
Laima – Goddess of destiny and faith. Protector goddess of mothers, children, breast feeding, giving birth, marriage life and pregnant women. Triple aspect goddess. Sometimes she is told to have two sisters; Dekla and Karta.
Lauma – (Plural Laumes) Fairy or an elemental in Latvian folk tales. They lived in forests, streams, lakes and in abandoned bath houses. Laumes were strong and unbeatable in battles.
Lapu mate – Protector goddess of leaves. Spirit who colors the leaves in autumn.
Laukumate – Protector goddess of fields. People made sacrifices for Laukumate in the hopes of good crop.
Lazdu mate - Protector goddess of nuts, nut trees and nut-groves.
Lieldienas – Spring Equinox. Festivities lasted four days. They included parties and dances. Lieldienas was dedicated to fertility goddesses. In modern day Latvia Lieldienas also means Christian Easter. Like in many countries also in Latvia Christian symbolism is mixed to old pagan rites.
Lietus mate – Protector goddess of the rain.
Linu mate – Protector goddess of cotton.
Lopu mate – Protector goddess of livestock.
Majas Kungs – Brother of the earth goddess Zeme Mate. Protector of farmsteads, orchards and gardens.
Mara – The highest of all deities. In Latvian mythology the leader of all gods is both masculine and feminine. Mara´s masculine side is Dievs.
Māras, Māra - 15th of August. Feast to honor the goddess Mara. She was the protector goddess of women, children, women´s work, fertility and farming. She was the goddess of the earth so when person passed away Mara took their body and Dievs took their soul.
Martini – Celebration to honor the horse god Martinš. Festivities included masquarade parades, sleigh riding, dances and preparing lots of food. Start of winter.
Martinš – God who ruled autumn and winter time. God of horses and protector of livestock.
Meness – God of the moon and warfare.
Meteni – Winter spirits who drives a magical sleigh.
Meteņi, Metenis – 23rd of February. Celebration of the god Meteni. Some of the traditions include sleigh riding, eating well and dancing.
Meža virs – God of the forest and protector of wolves.
Mežu tevs – Protector of domestic animals and farm land.
Miglas mate – Goddess of the mist.
Mikeli – Autumn Equinox. End of the harvest festival to celebrate Jumis and Mikelis. Celebrations included festivals, harvest markets, good food and dances. Festivities laster for three days.
Mikelis – God of astronomy, abundance and divination. Son of the sky god Dievs.
Pelnu Diena – 24th of February. Ash Day. Latvian New Year. Bride gathered all the ashes from their parents fire place and took them to the fire place of the groom.
Pērkons – God of thunder and the rain.
Pirts mate – Protector goddess of pirts (Baltic saunas/ bath houses).
Ragana – Goddess of witchcraft, protector of seekers and divination.
Saule – Goddess of the sun. Protector of orphans and unfortunate.
Smilšu mate – Goddess of sand, ruler of death.
Sniega mate – Protector goddess of snow.
Tirgus mate – Protector goddess of market places.
Udens mate – Protector goddess of waters, small ponds and streams.
Upes mate – Protector goddess of rivers.
Urbanas diena – 25th of May. Planting day.
Usinš – God of light, horses and bees.
Veja diena – Windy time period in February when all kinds of rituals are performed to cast away destructive storms from the upcoming summer.
Veja mate – Protector goddess of wind, forest, birds and sailors.
Zalktis – Snake god. Symbol of wellbeing, plenty and abundance.
Zemes mate – Goddess of the earth and fertility.
Ziedu mate – Goddess of flowers.
Ziemassvētki - Winter solstice celebration / Latvian Christmas. Candle is burned to honor the return of the sun god Dievs.
Zvaigznes diena- January 6th the Epiphany. also known as Paganu Svetdiena the pagan Sunday. This day includes lots of superstitions and divination's. End of Christmas time. Yule tree is taken away.
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