1,5 euros coin 2018 Lithuania – Jonines (Rasos)


1.5 euros
Composition: Cu/Ni alloy
Diameter (mm): 27.50
Weight (g): 11.10
Quality: unc
Mintage: 30,000 pcs
To be issued on 2018


Every year, on 21st or 22nd June, the sun enters the constellation Cancer, reaching the point of the summer solstice – that is when astronomical summer begins. The longest days of the year are called Midsummer. In Lithuania they last for 17 hours and 18 minutes and come along with a smell of jasmine, colours of peonies, poplar blossom “snow” and… an incredibly beautiful summer sky! All greenery seems to be inviting to admire its prosperity, abundance and richness. A few days after the summer solstice, on 24th June, the main summer celebration called Joninės (also known as Kupolės or Rasa) is held. Old paleoastronomical methods, which were used to compile the calendar, could not trace the exact culmination of the sun, so this chunk of time served as a signal that the sun had indeed reached its highest point. During this period, the sun rises in the north-east, its azimuth remains almost unchanged for a whole week, and the luminary as if pauses on the horizon.

Joninės is also an important day in the Christian calendar, solemnly celebrated since 506 A.D. Marking the birth of St. John the Baptist, it is considered an exception in the calendar of martyrology and given particular prominence in the northern countries of the Baltic Basin region where natural seasonal phenomena are very distinctive. In Lithuania, 24th June is one of the public holidays. The day is already one minute shorter, which is why the sun is said to be “coming back”. But from where?

being pulled by the Divine Horse Twins, rising to the very top of the sky. As days got shorter, it slowly descended the Midsummer’s hill. In terms of mythical imagery, seasonal rituals were considered necessary since many believed that they help nature in reaching its next stage of evolution. This way the order of the cosmos created by gods was maintained. Various rituals strengthened and perpetuated the bonds between man and nature, the powers of which used to be expressed through the imagery of deities. Hence the ceremonial actions were deemed almost sacred. Fun and frolicsome, the Summer Solstice Celebration is the most prominent of all national customs, with its rituals centred on nature and performed using herbage, water and fire