The Concept of Love in Lithuanian Folklore and Mythology


  • Doc dr. Daiva Šeškauskaitė Department of Social and Humanities Sciences Faculty of Forestry and Landscape Planing Kaunas Forestry and Environmental Engineering University of Applied Sciences Lithuania



Lithuania, love, mythology, relationship, symbol, folklore


Love is a reserved feeling, meaning amiability and complete internecine understanding. The concept of love has always been important for human world outlook and attitude. Love can have different meaning and expression – for some people it is a nice, warm feeling, a way of action and behaviour, for others it is nothing more than a sexual attraction. As there are different perceptions of love, there also exist few common love manifestations: love can be maternal, childish, juvenile, sexual. Love can also be felt for a home land, own nation, home. Naturally love can be expressed through the particular rituals, symbols and signs. Folk songs introduce four main lover characteristics: beauty, sweetness, kindness and boon. The later feature means that a girl/ boy is supposed to be well-set, to be pleasant and comfortable to touch which is very important when choosing a wife or a husband. Love in folklore is expressed through the common metaphorical and allegorical symbols, it doesn‘t sound as explicit word – more like a metaphor or epithet. Love in folklore can be perceived and felt very differently. Love like an action – love like... special person, essential possession. Prime personal characteristics, such as kindness, tenderness, humility, are the ones to light the love fire as well as beauty, artfulness, eloquence also help. Love is supposed to lead to the sacred sacrament of marriage. Love, if real, is a serious subject. Love is worth dying for. Strong love leads to self-sacrifice. Fairy tales satirize infidelity stressing that love is right only between a wife and a husband while other options are considered as inglorious and wrong. Love, as an incest, is also common in our folklore.