Here are the posts I’ve written on the topic if you need a quick recap –
Jāņi – the folklore
Jāņi Chatenet – A glance at last year’s celebration
|It's tradition to build a bonfire as well as to take a jump over it - check out the oak crown|
I’ve already spent the obligatory 2 hours driving to Inman and back, to shop at the two Russian-import stores there that carry Laimas chocolates and Rīgas šprotes, or smoked sprats in oil, a Baltic Sea delicacy. I also picked up some kvass from Ukraine, a fermented beverage made from rye bread. Popular not just in Latvija and the Baltics, but also Russia and most of Eastern Europe, it isn’t exactly my cup of tea. However, I’m glad to share this novelty with my fellow revelers this weekend at the two (not just one, but two!) Jāņi celebrations we will be attending. Want to celebrate Jāņi in your corner of the US? Just visit this map to find the līgotāji closest to you, and then check out Jāņi Amerikā to see pictures of previous years and to get the full scoop on this year’s festivities.
|In blatant disregard of child labor laws protecting them from hours of stirring the Jāņu siers|
|Taking a break from all the preparations to watch the rain - ice cream cone essential|
And so you have it, my to-do list for the preparations this weekend:
X Pick up Laimas šokolādes, Rīgas šprotes, kvass and beer
Tie the cheese!
X Bake the dzeltenmaize
Make wreaths on Saturday morning
Find our songbooks, Līgo music and book of Jāņi customs
X Find last year’s wreaths to symbolically burn in the Jāņi bonfire this year (yes, I actually packed them and they have traveled all the way from France only to land in a bonfire!)
I wish everyone a wonderful Jāņi, and may you find that elusive flower of the fern!
|Imports from Europe on the left, Euro Market middle and right|
* For those interested in the two specialty stores in Inman that carry Eastern European foodstuffs:
Imports From Europe, 9430 Asheville Hwy (Open Monday – Saturday from 10am to 7pm, although call to verify before driving 2 hours! (864) 599-0996)
Euro Market, 6400-C Hwy 9, Inman SC 29349 (Open all week, call for hours. (864) 814-2605)
There are a few more in the area that I have not had the chance to visit -
Moskov European Food Store, 11064 Asheville Hwy, (864) 472-9183
Nadias International Food Store, 68 S. Main St. (864) 472-9183
My friend Sarmīte reports that she's heard estimates upward of 10,000 Russian and Ukranians living in the Inman area, hence the cluster of shops. I wonder why this area in particular is so popular?
There is a new grocery in Spartanburg that carries much of the same foods as the Inman stores, and more: European Market, 8149 Warren H. Abernathy Hwy. (864) 595-5033