The theme of this year’s compact edition of the Mėnuo Juodaragis festival is exclusively mysterious, charming and enchanting – . It challenges reality itself. The event will be graced by Her Majesty Magic and wrapped in a starry shroud. Despite its playfulness, the theme of the festival is important and not as straightforward as it may seem.
The festival will become the place to get to know different magical traditions that often date back to the dawn of humanity and are inherent to all cultures of the world.
Across history and the globe people with extraordinary powers to see and speak to that which cannot be seen were held in reverence. By mastering mythological mechanic, sorcerers aimed to grasp the laws of the world architecture, to apprehend the relationships of Nature, to foresee and make impact on human fate. Mėnuo Juodaragis festival will offer an opportunity not only to hear about those remarkable people, but also to meet them.
From the ancient times the Baltic realm speaks of burtonys, or wizards, who would divine future by casting inscribed wooden sticks or bones, by looking for prophetic signs in fumes or water reflections, and by relying on the divine will in the moment of randomness. Indications of magic are apparent in later periods of history too – back in the 17th century in his legendary work Deliciae Prussicae Matthäus Prätorius recites and testifies around two dozen types of magicians. And those are only dying embers of the once prosperous Baltic religious centre – Romowe Rickoyoto – where the main priest, Kriwes, was the chief Master of Magic.
Today, the rich heritage of magic is evident in the Lithuanian folklore with surviving traditions of incantation, herbalism and divination. There are tales of witches, and legends of charmed people, sites and treasures. Even the centenary of the restoration of the state of Lithuania reminds that the key architect of the republic Jonas Basanavičius was a vigilant follower of the world of ghosts and devils and the author of the fundamental digest of magic folklore – The Black Book.
Although ethnic tradition will be the cornerstone of the festival’s theme, the festive Yard of Magic will host not only medicine men, witches, conjurers, enchanters and diviners. The wide fields and outskirts of the theme will include speeches on psychology, the power of suggestion, the origin of superstitions, shamanism, fantasy, Karl Gustav Jung, quantum physics, eventuality theories, the relationship between magic and science – medicine, astronomy, chemistry, etc. – and the philosophical divides between sorcery and rites, healing and enchantment, knowledge and faith.
The existence of magic, as a set of archetypal symbols and laws of alternate reality, and its relevance to human being is also intriguing. Magic seems to work even in modern times – it constitutes the foundation for much of the artistic practices, entire subcultures of video games and global broadcasts of lot drawing for sports championships, while everyday coincidences sometimes seem outright implausible! Almost everyone, even people of the most modern mindset, seems to have personal spells, weird habits, beliefs, and lucky numbers. When we look at the mirror, knock on wood, raise a toast, gift symbols of fortune, wish luck, or give blessings… all of this is magic too. It exists and accompanies us every day.
Often we remember magic from our childhood when our imagination was still unbounded and magic was at its closest, so the festival’s programme for kids will be exclusively colourful – full of fairy-tales, tricks, juggles, pranks, playful ruse and fantasies.
The main magic of the festival – the music acts – will be as enchanting and intriguing as never before. This time the line-up remains in secret, to give the attenders more surprises and wandering discoveries.
The 21st Mėnuo Juodaragis welcomes you to the immense forest of magic reality with the special theme that can be best unfolded at the intimate gathering of the tribe. By playing and dreaming under the starry canopy of mysteries we will remember, learn and cast spells for a bright future. Water will come to life, fire will burn brighter, thoughts and signs will gain more meaning. Believe it or not – magic works. So let’s gather on the last weekend of summer – and cast the SPELL!