Traces of Pagan Culture in Latvia

Latvian Pagan Culture

As you know, all the nations had different religions before Christianism, Islam or others. Latvian people were Pagans before they were converted to Christianism. Baltic nations (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) are the last ones to became Christian in Europe. But they have never forgotten their past. You may still see their Pagan symbols everywhere. From their clothes to their Ligo festival. These traditions still live.

Latvian scarves
Latvian scarves

If you go to souvenir shops in Latvia, nearly half of the products will have these symbols. Hats, necklaces, earrings, scarves and so on. It is like Turkish evil eye. They are everywhere.

Latvian Pagan Symbols
Latvian Pagan Symbols

Pagan symbols and meanings

You may see 3 major gods/goddesses on photo. Mara, Dievs  & Laima.

Mara, Dievs and Laima
Mara, Dievs and Laima

Dievs

Dievs
Dievs

Biggest god in all Baltic cultures, not just Latvian. He has the control of the sky and the universe. His symbols is triangle or just 2 sides of triangle as you can see on photo.

Mara

Mara
Mara
Waters of Mara
Waters of Mara

Biggest goddess. She controls water, soil and underground. Her symbol is opposite to Dievs or sea wave.

Laima

Laima
Laima

Laima is the goddess of destiny. She is one of the important figures in Latvian culture. Birth, death and marriage becomes in her permisions.

Saule

Saule
Saule

Saule means sun in Latvian language. There are 2 periods for Latvian pagan culture. Day and night. Sun is a star which can be seen in day and other stars can be seen only at night. Every star has a different meaning but sun is at top hierarchy of stars as it can be seen alone. Saule (Sun) sees everything, knows everything.

There are Saule symbols on tools which were made with bones from stone age and ceramics from middle age. So it goes so far in history.

Jumis and Saule symbols on cave walls
Jumis and Saule symbols on cave walls

Jumis

Jumis
Jumis

Jumis is symbol for fertility. It was believed that it was increasing human and plant population. It is guessed that symbol comes from the cross over of Dievs and Mara symbols. As a trace of Pagan culture some people still have this symbol under their roofs. They believe that it will bring healthy life.

Moon

Moon
Moon

Moon is husband of Saule (Sun). Symbolizes death and rebirth

Ausekils

Ausekils
Ausekils

Symbolizes star and light. It is believed that people who carry Ausekils on their body gets protected from evil souls. For example if you have Ausekils on your blanket then evil souls do not disturb you while you sleep.

Perkons

Perkons
Perkons

Roots of the Swaistka cross which we know from Nazis actually comes till Latvian Pagan culture. It symbolizes lightning, fire and the god Perkons. Oldest trace found about this symbol is from 3rd century. It can be seen on bronze accessories.

Viper Snake

Viper Snake
Viper Snake

Viper snake symbolizes wisdom and workmanship.

Usins

Usins
Usins

Usins symbolizes health, life and energy. It reminds spring. That is why they celebrate Usins Day at 23rg of April.

Latvian Tattoo with Pagan Symbols
Latvian Tattoo with Pagan Symbols

You will witness that Latvian people use these Pagan symbols everywhere. Some people even have tattoos on themselves. Although they are mostly Christian they still have their connections and respects to their old culture.

They also have a calendar from these symbols. Every god and symbol has a day. You may check the calendar below.

Latvian Pagan Calendar
Latvian Pagan Calendar
More from Latvia Magazine

Lasma Liepa’s Next Target is Trophy at 2020 Olympics in Tokyo

Lasma Liepa is a Latvian woman who became European champion in 2016...
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *