Rites of Passage Random customs, rituals, festivals and superstitions PAGAN REVELRY A RANDOM FIELD, LATVIA
Who doesn’t love a little drunken bonfire dancing? Every summer solstice the Latvians do it up right with the Ligo festival, an all-night, countrywide party in the middle of nowhere. On 23 June, citydwellers make a mass exodus to the countryside, gathering in fields and farms around great bonfires. Women make wreaths of wildflowers to wear as crowns, while men go skinny-dipping in the lakes.
Everyone partakes of homemade cheese and beer, while the party gets going with traditional songs around the fire. Dancing till dawn is compulsory, and no one is allowed to sleep. After some more beer, couples wander into the forests “searching for the fern blossom”. One story goes that a World War II fighter pilot flew over the country on Ligo and saw so many fires he thought the fields had been bombed. But no worries – he landed his plane in the middle of a party and wound up marrying a beautiful Latvian lass.
The Numbers Impress your travelling companions 14,947 The number of airports in the US.
550 The number of airports in Germany.
1 The number of airports in Malta.
37.9 The average high temperature in Celsius of Marrakesh in July.
11.2 The average low temperature in Celsius of Tampere, Finland in July.
238 The number in millions of telephone lines for the whole of the European Union.
1 The number of telephone lines for all of the Pitcairn Islands.
2,435 The cost in euros of a pair of Moss Lipow ostrich and alligator sunglasses.
6 The cost in euros of a pair of heart-shaped H&M sunglasses made of the finest quality plastic.
45 The average temperature in Celsius of the Ryanair Magazine editorial office when we are going to press!
Your ShoutIn Lodz, Poland. This month, we asked: “Do you prefer a mountain or beach holiday?”
|ANNA, 26, INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS OFFICER||DARIA, 26, TOURIST OFFICER|
|“Beach, beach, beach. I want the sun!”||“Who are you kidding? Beach holiday, of course!”|
|“Both, but there’s nothing like breathing clean mountain air.”|