Look for Happiness in Lilacs

Assorted color and form of lilacs grow on both sides of the old road in Bernāti. During the blooming you can smell them, eat “happiness” flowers, and make a wish! Desires tend to come true!

On all sides

Have you ever been to Bernāti during the blooming of lilacs? Have you walked the old Bernāti road, surrounded on both sides by lilac bushes of diverse colors and shapes? From light purple to creamy white blossoms, from dark foliage to light, light green. Lilac blooms here every year and fills the small seaside village with its dizzying scent. Lilacs along the road in Bernāti have been growing for a long time and have grown both on their own and planted by local villagers. Every garden in Bernāti has some lilac bushes. 

Lilac Festival

Praising this phenomenon, the local NGO “Mēs Bernātiem” organized the first Lilac Festival in the village in 2018. During the celebration, there was a musical festive pageant, Nīca amateur theatre performance, a lilac wedding ceremony, a praise of the youngest and most experienced people in Bernāti, lilac painting workshop for children, a market for local craftsmen. There was also a contest to find most “lucky” flowers, photo session for participants of the festival, lilac flower wall workshop and singing together by local musicians. Quite many people attended the event. The NGO continued the tradition in 2019. 

When to search for lilac?

For local people, the blooming lilacs is really special. They like to grow in the sandy soil, not very demanding plant, that is why they grow here so abundantly. They usually bloom at the end of May, sometimes in the middle of May or at the beginning of June. It depends how early spring comes. 

Has come from Central Europe

Historical facts show that the fragrant lilac bush came to Europe in the 16th century from the Persian Empire. It initially appeared in England, and later in the France, Paris, where its popularity started and continue to this day. To Latvia it has come from Central Europe, but Latvians like to think that it is their own. And why not? It has been a local plant for quite a while. Lilacs are loved all over the world – artists very often paint them, they are often used in beauty products, and winemakers have learned even wine from them. Lilac is also used to strengthen health by preparing, for example, infusions of lilac flowers.

So different!

There are more than 1000 varieties of lilac trees and shrubs in the world. You can see 200 of them can in “Dobeles ceriņi” and also a bunch of them here in Bernāti. An ordinary lilac tree can reach a height of up to 7 meters. On average lilac blooms 3 weeks a year, but there are some varieties that bloom more than once a year. The lilac flowers symbolically are associated with first love. Usually we call them “ceriņi” as if derived from a Latvian word “cerība” which means “hope”. Lilacs will last longer in a vase if you put them in hot water and add a pinch of citric acid or sugar. When planting lilac, choose the sunniest place for it. When lilacs have finished blooming, it is recommended to cut them. Then it will grow bushier and bloom more next year.

May the wish come true!

It is an old belief that if you find a flower with five petals and eat it, your wish will come true. You can try it out yourself! It can take a lot of time… To wish and wish once again… You can do it anywhere but you are very welcome to travel to Bernāti and try out your luck!

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