“Table of God” in the Written Sources of Lithuanians Cover Image

„Dievo Stalas “ XVI–XVII A. Rašytinių Šaltinių Duomenimis
“Table of God” in the Written Sources of Lithuanians

Author(s): Rimantas Balsys
Subject(s): Christian Theology and Religion, Semiology, Social Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology, Sociology of Religion
Published by: Visuomeninė organizacija »LOGOS«
Keywords: Christmas Eve; hay; straw; gods; offerring;

Summary/Abstract: All over Lithuania, for Christmas Eve supper, traditionally and currently, hay or straw has been put under the tablecloth. Ethnologists, mythologists, and folklorists fail to agree about its origin or symbolic meaning. The data of the written sources from the 16th–17th c allow one to assume that the hay on the Christmas Eve table is a pre-Christian relict. In the 16th–17th c., the hay (straw) was used to place offerings for ancient gods. The hay (straw) that would become sacred during the ritual was used to boost the fertility of humans, animals, and crops. The custom survived till the late 20th c. In recent decades, the hay placed on the Christmas Eve table acquired some new symbolic meanings.

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: 69
  • Page Range: 150-162
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: Lithuanian