The festivals in Kartena and its surroundings

Goda Povilaitytė

The article provides the discussion about the festivals in Kartena and its surroundings (especially the village of Budriai) in late 19th and 6-7 decades of the 20th century. The purpose of this article is to show the main occasions for people’s festivals and to observe their developing process. A strong connection between Church festival and various entertainments that used to be inseparable part of Church festivals is emphasized. Inherent entertainments were dance parties (gegužinės), lotteries, where one could gain any trifle and livestock either. One of the fest elements that had a huge importance up to the beginning of the soviet period was visiting relations, having a party together. The main dishes during this party were homemade cake, beer and omelette–they are considered to be ancient ritual dishes. During dance parties the brass band used to play. It was the main difference between them and simple dance parties mostly every weekend. Kartena had a lot of such Church festivals, but in the first decades of the 20th century there were only four left: The sixth Sunday after Easter, Whitsunday, The fest of Saint Peter and Paul and The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. People from Kartena used to take part in other cities' Church festivals, so the period of those fests (and entertainments) was really intensive (from the sixth Sunday after Easter till the 14th of September–the last Church festival in Budriai). Also there were three fairs in Kartena (in autumn, in winter, after Three Kings' fest and in spring). During them were various entertainments too. During the period of the 2-4 decades of 20th century an active role some of the youth organizations (šaulių and pavasarininkų) played. They were the main organizers of various performances and already mentioned dance parties (gegužinės).