Here`s what our beloved wikipedia says about it:
Jāņi (pronounced [jaːɲi]) is a Latvian festival held in the night from 23 June to 24 June to celebrate the summer solstice (Midsummer), the shortest night and longest day of the year. The day of Līgo ([liːɡu͡o]) (23 June) and the day of Jāņi (pronounced [jaːɲi]) (24 June) are public holidays, and people usually spend them in the countryside. The festival's eve Jāņu vakars ([jaːɲu vakars]) is held in the evening of 23 June and goes on all through the night Jāņu nakts ([jaːɲu nakts]) , where people Līgo (sway) into the following day.
I just might add that Jāņu vakars is also called Līgo vakars. Everybody stays awake till the 24th June`s sunrise and during the night līgotāji (the people, who celebrate this festival) eat traditional caraway seed cheese, drink home-made beer, sing Līgo songs (and boy oh boy! believe me - there are A LOT of them. They`re centuries old and still sang today), dance, jump over the bonfire (tradition) and do hundreds of other things. Cheese is also usually home-made. This fest is lots of fun.
I`m going to my countryside this year to celebrate Jāņi with all my of family, and I actually think that it might be nice as there will be all of my other relatives which include cousins, aunts, etc, etc. Basically, it`ll be something like this HUGE family gathering and everybody will be there.
Oh, I forgot to add that every girl/woman wears a wreath of flowers, that have been gathered in the meadow - it traditionally includes daisies, cornflowers, goldilocks, cleavers and tons of other flowers which can be found in a meadow in the middle of June. Men, whose name is Jānis, wear a wreath that`s made from oak leaves.
So, since I still need to buy some food for tonight (since cheese isn`t the only the thing that`s eaten in this fest, as well as beer isn`t the only beverage drank) and then I`m off to the oh-so-pretty countryside, have a great day/night, depending on where you`re located and I`m off, darlings!
p.s. it`s official - I am addicted to Regina Spektor.
currant of the day:
* regina spektor - man of a thousand faces
* i. kalniņš - viņi dejoja vienu vasaru (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZ54hprWrJI&feature=related )