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Lithuanian Essay on Main Characters and Animals, Real and Mythological


The purpose of Legends in the life of the nation is to convey the most important knowledge of philosophical, historical and mythology, to cultivate respect for the surrounding environment and our past. The legends tell us how the landscape of the living area of our tribes was formed, who built cities, castles, and churches, what was the fate of the people living in this area. Natural and historical monuments released from the environment attracted the attention of people, stimulated to interpret the reasons for their occurrence. The result of the interaction of Earth's relief observations and the similar to the truth or the fantastic stories of the past is folk legends, tales are unbelievable, but capable of convincing their truths. Legends can be called in the minds of men and in the landscape, framed by the nation's memory, the history of the nation.

Legends have changed, adapted to the changeable world and its perception. Different or even contradictory works are associated with the same monument. Very similar natural and historical monuments exist in many Lithuanian areas or even other countries. Therefore, the origin of lakes, hills or mounds is very similarly explained. Hundreds of years of development, substitution, and forgotten processes have shaped national and international scenes that have spread across the regions.

Lithuania is not a rocky country, so unusually large rocks in flat fields and forests have long awakened people's imagination. How did a solitary boulder weighing several hundred tons emerge on the plain? Maybe the devil lost from the bag? And maybe the fairies beneath them hid their riches? Legends teach us not only to listen to the silence of the earth, but also to protect it from harm.

Legends tell about the stones brought by the living or strong creatures, convincing those rocks not to delete. In fact, the boulders in our country have brought tens of thousands of years ago by scrolling through the glacies. These are natural monuments of nature, to worship in ancient times, legendary, used as altars during rituals. It was believed that it turns out a ghost near one of the stones, others on their seats give fertility or strength. Some boulders are considered sacred or cursed.


No less interesting, important characters of legends: Dukes, Giants, goddesses, fairies, thunder, animals. Particularly common mythological figures are devils, fairies, forces of nature, because Lithuanians are the last European pagans who worshiped nature. The culturally strongest link is felt with the neighbors ' poles, whose mythology is similar to the long-standing communication and convergence of the peoples. An example is the legend "Demon Biesas and Chad (Biesas and Hero Sanas)", in which the devil Biesas is surrounded by natural nature, living in forests. He hates people.

Very important are the legends of Peoples ' origin (Ethnicogenetic legend), which were very widespread. Brito (Bruto) gave the name to Britain, from Krako – Krakow, from Barkas – Jurbarkas, from Kuno – Kaunas... Tying legendary names gave legends credibility, linked the legendary hero to the nation.

The Kurshes (Baltic tribe) rejoiced very much and were very grateful to the giant girl, so as a consequence peninsula was named after Neringa. Between the peninsula and the coast, the lagoon is called the Curonian Lagoon, where people sail by boats, catch fish, bathe, and remember the intelligent giant girl, which has protected them from the evil Baltic Sea monster.

Neringa was extraordinary girl.Just nine months old she looked like a handsome girl! When Neringa was eighteen, she was infinitely strong: could pull the ships ashore or drag the cart that had been stuck in the sand… A special girl also needs a special groom! Nobody was good enough, because nobody could throw the stone over the lagoon. When one groom emerged, the sea dragon didn‘t like it.The dragon caused a major storm. The sea mingled with the sky for 13 days and nights. Ships sank and water washed the castle fortifications. Neringa thought that dragon would be covered by a sand dyke, carrying sand, dunes, pine forests, pebbles, and stones. So Neringa separated the lagoon from the sea. This is how Neringa came about Giant Neringa is helping others by helping itself. The more powerful helps the weaker, cares for it, and prevents disasters. The heroic act has moral aspects. Legend teaches us not to give up, to fight, to reach, to face the challenges bravely.

Special girls are also characters from legends of other nations. The Italian legend "Saint George and the dragon" tells the story of girls being sacrificed to the dragon, Romanian legend Dragon Garden - about the most beautiful girls kidnapped by dragons, in the Polish legend of the Wawel dragon - the struggle between the dragon and the smart, brave shoemaker who received Princess Vanda, in Bulgarian legend, "Pirin Dragon" - about a kidnapped girl who became the dragon’s bride.

Characters of the legend of Puntukas Stone are Devils, Thunder, Puntukas, Anykšta. Puntukas is an evil and wicked man. The devils are wicked, afraid of the miraculous sign of Anykščiai and able to penetrate the earth. Mother Anykšta is a powerful magician. Thunder is the most prominent creature in Baltic mythology who is always afraid of the devil.

Legend tells us that the devils decided to kill Anykšta by turning her house into a stone. The sons of the devil couldn't lift the stone! Neither did the old man! All the wicked came down, and lifted up the stone, and began to carry it. The thunder hated the wicked, and hit the them.That stone fell on the house of Puntukas and was named Puntukas.

Thunder, rescuing the chief of the hardworking and honest Chief of Anykščiai tribe from the devils, punished Puntukas, an evil and wicked man.

Thunder is the god of the Baltic thunder, lightning, storm, rain. The Lithuanian Thunder corresponds to the Latvian Thunder (Pērk )ns), the Prussian Thunder (percunis - thunder, corresponds to the Lithuanian common words thunder, thunder to name thunder, storm).

Devil as a character is found in Romanian legend "Devil's Bridge", Italian "Devil's Columns", "Holy Galgano and Sword on the Rock", Bulgarian - "Devil's Throat Cave", Polish "Legend of Slate Mountain", "Story" about Mr. Tvardovsky.

Characters in the legend include the Virgin Mary, a farmer and her ill daughter. The legend tells of faith and love, the sacrifice of the father.

A father caring for his severely ill daughter dreamed a dream in which a woman dressed in white ordered to build a large wooden cross on a hill. It will be a sign of faith and love for God. The loving, suffering father made the cross and carried it around tirelessly for 13 hours. Daughter healed! The magical story spread throughout the city. Since then, people have come to this mountain, they build the cross because they hope it will help their loved ones recover.

According to Mary's method of revelation, legends are divided into two main groups:

1) legends of Mary's direct appearance to man;

2) legends in which Mary's power manifests itself through certain objects, i. y. pictures considered magical, etc.

This legend tells of Our Lady who appeared directly to man. Her appearance is a request to spread faith, to pray, to build a cross in a certain space (a possible request is to build a house of prayer).

People say that even now, it is enough to have a very strong, pure desire and with that intent to put a cross on the Hill of Crosses, pray deeply and your the desires will certainly come true.

The saints are also the protagonists of legends of other nations. Bulgarian legend tells of St. Petka hiding in a cave from pursuers. Now this cave is St. Petka Stone Church.

The legend about the foundation of the city of Vilnius is very popular and known to every Lithuanian. Characters of the legend: Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas; Lizdeika is the protagonist of the historical writing about the founding of the city of Vilnius, who explained the dream to Grand Duke Gediminas, the Iron Wolf. The Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, hunting in the woods of the Šventaragis valley, dreamed a prophetic dream: on the top of the mountain where he had fallen that day was a huge iron wolf and howling a hundred wolves. The howling of the wolf is a sign of further events. Oh, and the Wolf of the Dream - not just any iron, huge! Awakened by the rays of the rising sun, the Duke remembered a strange dream and asked the pagan priest Lizdeika to reveal his secret. Is the Grand Duke capable of interpreting his dream himself? No, it is interpreted by the priest Lizdeika: “What is destined for the ruler and the State of Lithuania by the gods, let it happen! The Iron Wolf symbolizes the insurmountable castle and city that the ruler will find in this place. That city will be the capital of the Lithuanian lands, and the wolf howling marks the glory of that city - it will reach all parts of the world… ” The Grand Duke is rewarded with the right and power to establish a city that will guarantee him enduring glory. We find such and similar stories in the texts of various nations. Prophetic dreams, prophecies, and unusual things are constantly encountered in tales of the establishment and prosperity of capitals or states and empires. The Italian legend "Romolo and Remo and the foundation of Rome" also tells about the founding of the city. Such stories are about Prague, Kiev, Moscow, the Ottoman Empire ...
“There are places in Lithuania whose popularity does not depend on their size but on their role in the history of the nation. Trakai is one of them ”(S. Mikulionis).   As we walk the streets of our city every day, we think about hundreds of things: What will we do, who will we meet? The city sees, feels, knows when we were born, how we grew up, what we became. And do we know how our city came about? The foundation of the town of Trakai and the construction of castles are surrounded by legends. The legendary residence of Lithuanian rulers, the blue waters of lakes and picturesque coasts, old towns and mansions of the life of the count - all have survived here in Trakai region. At the beginning of the 16th century, the legend of the Lithuanian chronicles (Bychov's chronicle) recorded the following legend: During his reign in Trakai and Samogitia, Kęstutis heard that a girl Birutė was in Palanga, who had promised her gods to preserve chastity. Went to Grand Duke Kestutis, worshiped by the people as a goddess. The beautiful and smart girl liked her so much that she asked her to become a wife. She refused because she had promised her gods to preserve chastity to death. Duke Kęstutis forcibly brought him to the capital Trakai, summoned his brothers and held a big wedding. According to another legend, Trakai Castle was born on the whim of a woman. Birute, the wife of Duke Kestutis, did not like to live in Old Trakai because there was not enough water nearby, as was usual in her native Palanga. Therefore, Kęstutis wanted to please his wife about the 14th century. In the middle of the 19th century, he began to build a new castle on a peninsula surrounded by lakes. Legendary Lithuanian princes, according to the chronicles, created cities to entice the beauty of the areas, so the city is the result of an act of the will of the ruler.    The Italian legend "Romolo and Remo and the foundation of Rome" also tells about the founding of the city.