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Mikeli

In ancient Latvia, Mikeli was a festival held on September 22 - September 24, during the dzelzs nedela meaning "the week of iron." The holiday was sacred for both Mikelis and and Jumis.

The festival held at the end of the harvest season; when Jumis' gift of food had been received.

One the first day, a ritual called the Catching of Jumis takes place. Jumis, represented by a double-headed stalk of grain, was said to be hiding in the last of the unharvested fields. This last cut is saved until the end, so as to please Jumis, and invite him back the following spring. These last stalks are tied with special twine and placed in a barn, separate from the rest of the harvest. The grasses are then used during the winter to jeal sick livestock. Chicken is eaten at the evening's feast.

The second day was a feast and party.

The third day was a market day, and also the only day men proposed to their prospective wives.



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