Baltic Mythology

Baltic Mythology refers to the mythology of the Baltic people, primarily the Latvians and Lithuanians. Unlike other European mythologies, Baltic mythology remained more vibrant and less influenced by Christianity until relatively late, preserving many ancient beliefs and traditions.

Major Deities

  1. Dievas: The chief god, similar to the Indo-European sky god Dyaus.
  2. Saule: The sun goddess, one of the most important deities, associated with life, fertility, and well-being.
  3. Meness: The moon god, often portrayed as Saule’s husband or son.
  4. Perkūnas: The god of thunder, similar to the Norse Thor or the Slavic Perun.
  5. Laima: Goddess of fate, often presented in a trio with her sisters, Kārta and Dēkla.
  6. Žemyna: Earth goddess, symbolizing the fertile earth and nourishing all life.

Beliefs and Practices

  • Nature Worship: Baltic mythology is deeply connected to nature, with sacred groves, trees, and stones playing a significant role.
  • Ancestor Worship: Respect and reverence for ancestors were central to Baltic religious practices.

Famous Myths and Folk Tales

  • The Creation of the World: A tale of how the world was created from an egg or a divine tree.
  • Stories of the Dainas: Traditional folk songs that hold many mythological stories and beliefs.

Mythological Creatures

  • Laumės: Witch-like beings with both good and evil aspects.
  • Aitvaras: A household spirit that brings wealth, but also misfortune.
  • Velnias: An evil spirit, often in conflict with Perkūnas.

Cultural Impact

  • Baltic mythology has greatly influenced the region’s folklore, songs, and festivals.
  • Traditional celebrations like Jāņi (Midsummer) and Užgavėnės (pre-Lent) are deeply rooted in mythological beliefs.

Modern Influence

  • Despite the Christianization, many elements of Baltic mythology have survived in folk traditions, language, and cultural identity.
  • It has seen a revival in modern times, especially in the context of national identity and cultural heritage.

Finnish Mythology

Basque Mythology