Latvia is that small country between Lithuania and Estonia, where the beautiful city of Riga is the capital. The countries of the Baltic region have always interested and fascinated me in equal measure, not only because of their history, which is most surprising, but also because I know that they are hidden gems in Europe, and I hope that we will be able to visit them soon!
Today I come with a post about one of the coolest Christmas traditions I’ve ever heard of that takes place in Latvia. It seems that when the time comes to open presents, Latvians have a very special poetic tradition.
Traditionally, Ded Moroz (frozen grandpa, a kind of blue Santa Claus!) is responsible for delivering the gifts in Latvia every December 31st. Today some families prefer him to be Santa Claus, who comes on the evening of December 24th. In any case, the Latvians have to recite a short poem before opening each gift. If you don’t know any poems, you can sing a song. The children always have one ready, because if at the time they do not remember any, they could be left without a gift.
The reason I like this tradition so much is that it helps to lengthen a little that moment when the whole family is under the Christmas tree (eglïte in Latvian, which means “little fir”). Sometimes I have noticed that the gifts are all delivered and opened in less than ten minutes and so quickly it makes us enjoy it less.
When I was learning about this custom from Latvia, it occurred to me that I could implement it in my family this year. I looked for some Christmas poems to be ready to open my present quickly… and I found this one by Gloria Fuertes that I liked a lot.