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Every family celebrates occasions that are unique to that particular family but not society as a whole: various anniversaries, birthdays, etc. Certain family occasions spill outside the closed family circle and touch a larger group of individuals for instance, christenings, funerals or weddings. Funerals in particular are attended by uninvited guests, distant acquaintances, seldom seen friends. They gather to pay their respects to a deceased member of a family. These days, uninvited guests do not attend weddings. When weddings were held in ancient Lithuania (especially in the country) uninvited guests sometimes made an appearance. Because wedding feasts and rituals lasted such a long time (up to a week: or more) and were an occasion to invite not only blood and marriage relatives and acquaintances but all the local inhabitants as well, the men of neighboring villages were determined to attend even if uninvited. They were called kriukininkai and came leaning on sticks as if demanding entry into the wedding banquet lest they cause trouble for all the wedding guests. Of course such threats were made in jest (it was a custom of that time), and the uninvited guests were warmly welcomed to the wedding: the more the merrier. 

Mother's Day is also included among family occasions, though it is also a community holiday created to honor mothers. The mother's role is so important in society that her day is celebrated outside the confines of the family as well. 
The wedding feast was first held in the bride's home and later moved to the groom's homestead. Often the young woman did not personally select her future spouse, who was chosen by her parents with a matchmaker's assistance. This originated the matchmaker's role at the wedding and al l the customs related to "hanging" the matchmaker at the end of celebration, etc. Because the matchmaker plays no role in the modern wedding, it is illogical to include him in present-day customs, even more to "hang" , him. This would amount to contrived playacting and not an authentic tradition. The same holds true for dowry-carriers, hope chests and guest summoners (kvieslys). There are some Lithuanian brides who, wanting to adhere to the old traditional weddings, arrange to bring a hope chest decorated with folk designs to the reception and later "cart it away" to th e new home. But this is an artificial performance. If we attend an ethnographic performance depicting an authentic Lithuanian wedding, all these traditions an d customs are quite appropriate. If, on the other hand, we hold an actual wedding for cur son or daughter and wish to incorporate Lithuanian customs, we must adapt them so they will be suitable, esthetic and meaningful. A wedding is not a circus but a solemn happy occasion for the young couple as they march into a new life together, surrounded by family and friends. It must remain as such.


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