Winter Solstice Traditions in Latvia

For millions of people around the world, Christmas is closely tied to Christian beliefs, after all, it is a celebration commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. In fact, in many languages, the word for the celebration itself has to do with Christ or birth. Not so in Latvian where we celebrate “Ziemassvētki”, literally the “winter festival”. You […]

My Favorite Weird German New Year’s Tradition

Since moving to Germany I’ve had to learn a few things about the New Year’s. First, it’s not called New Year’s Eve over here, it’s Silvester. Second, you don’t wish people happy New Year, instead you wish a guten rutsch, literally, a “good slide” (presumably, into the upcoming year). Third, for some unfathomable reason most […]