WORKSHOPS
from apiary and herbarium

Workshops by bee-garden and apiary KUPA

Already three years in a row, a bee-garden and apiary KUPA has been educating children and adults also the international guests on themes of bees, beekeeping, natural candle making, native Baltic ornaments, and local herbal plants.

During our educational lessons, we are discussing the relationship between the bees and plants, the importance of linen in the local culture. We are reminding all our guests the ordinary meaning of a candle.  During the workshop, we handmaking a candle, which in old times was a symbol of "light carrier" for the whole family and their home. We are decorating a special ethnographic bag and making some herbal distillate (hydrolat) from hand-picked local herbal plants.

The workshops are held throughout the year. Each time we look at the candle making process depending on the context of a calendar season. Every workshop or educational program is tailored to different age groups according to their skills and capabilities. The youngest ones will listen to the tales, riddles, they will play and dance. The elder ones will be able to deepen their knowledge about the bees and their input to the whole ecosystem from the perspective of up-to-date science and modern technology.

The workshops are taking place in our bee-garden or off-site (in the schools, kindergartens and etc.).



Traditional BEE PRODUCTS TASTING - a sweetness in hundred flavours

Lithuania has been famous for the beekeeping tradition and TRAKAI region has unique bee-harvested flavours in particular. Beekeeping has been an important branch of the economy since the medieval ages, which is evidenced by archaeological findings. The bee products recipes have been passed from one generation to another.
KUPA invites you to get acquainted with the beekeeping tradition in Lithuania through its flavours. During tasting of different honey types, we are explaining how it occurs and why the bees are so important to the ecosystem. During pollen tasting, we are educating about the origins and  development of beekeeping in Lithuania. While eating bee bread, we talking about Lithuanian  mythological songs and tales about bee deities. While tasting the mead, we are remembering why in Lithuanian language the word „fellowship“ comes from the word „bees“. We are explaining the bee-harvesting festivity and the beekeeping influence on human relationships. We are tasting traditional snacks: cheese with honey, cucumber with honey and of course honey in the honeycomb

SCENTED TRAKAI CANDLE

TRAKAI is famous for its diversity of peoples and religions. TRAKAI full of pagan Lithuanian heritage: we have a Sacricial Mountain which reminds us of the Old Religion, cult Island ALKA, the legendary Eagle Mountain and sacred linden forest. During the Middle Ages in one of these places a sacred re from oak rewoods was smouldering. Written sources mention that our ancestors used to sacrifice beeswax and fragrant herbs. During those ancient times, a sweet and tickling smoke from the temple was constantly owing around pagan TRAKAI...
We invite you to make a scented candle in memory of the old spirit of this European state, which was baptized the latest. Together with the burning candle, your thoughts will travel to the heart of old TRAKAI.
The candles are made wrapping: a wax plate is placed on the wax plate and the candle is slowly twisted. A special blend of Baltic amber, fragrant herbs, and oak carnations is used to highlight the scent of the candle, which covers the inside of the wax plate.

CANDLE FOR THE TRUE LOVERS

It is incredible, but TRAKAI city was born out of... love. According to the legend, everything began when grand duke KĘSTUTIS fell in love with BIRUTĖ - priestess living in the far seaside of Lithuania. He kidnapped her, married, and placed her in his mansion. The beloved wife BIRUTĖ was longing for the seaside, so KĘSTUTIS found a peninsula surrounded by the lakes and moved his mansion there.

We invite you to make a symbol of this hottest love - a double twisted candle and at the same time to remember the whole love story of KĘSTUTIS and BIRUTĖ. Candles are made in the ancient way when melted hot wax is poured on a hanging wick. Layer after layer the candle takes its shape till reaching the required thickness. Then two candles are twisted into one. When lighted a twin torch is burning symbolizing two hot hearts and their true love.

A MID-SUMMER FEST AND A SPELLS CANDLE

There are a lot of lakes around TRAKAI, during the old days near most of the lakes a midsummer night celebration, called JONINĖS were held. It involves weaving a wreath with the candle in it. During the midnight all the wreaths with the candles are lowered into the water. The culmination of the midsummer fest when the wreaths with burning candles are swirling around TRAKAI lakes. They say that in order to nd out the couple’s future, each person should place a wreath with the candle into the water and watch them swim. If the wreaths are moving away from each other, the couple must be more attentively to each other. If the wreaths are approaching, the couple should enjoy each other’s company!
We invite you to make a floating candle that will not drown in the river, bath or vase. The candle is made by adding melted wax into a special form. While producing a candle we will find out about midsummer fest spells and customs. In case you will miss to let downstream this wax flower during the midsummer event, it might perfectly decorate any festive table instead.

"WRITING" IN TRADITIONAL ORNAMENTS

The traditional ornaments called "writing" or RAŠYMAS in the Lithuanian language. Old and traditional weaved fabrics of attire, bedding or bedspreads carriers some symbols and messages that are "written" down by the ornament. Of course, the most delicate patterns are “encrypted” into the bands. The bands were used for christenings, weddings, and other celebrations. Each element of the ornament has its own botanical, zoological and mythological meaning. Using the ornament, it is possible to say a wish.

We invite you to familiarize yourself with the meanings of the ornamental patterns and present yourself a linen bag with best wishes. Linen bags are printed with specially prepared prints, soaked in textile dyes. By simplifying the weaving technology to the stamping, it is possible to create a unique "message" in a very short time. The message will be understandable only to those who know how to read it.

A HEN NIGHT OR BACHELORETTE PARTY IN THE STREET OF FORTUNE

A warm and cosy get-together with lady friends before one of the most important events in life. It is a celebration of encouragement, reassurance, and sharing. During the party, we are explaining how and where the Lithuanian Goddess LAIMĖ determines our destinies. LAIMĖ in Lithuanian language means „happiness“, she is the one who spins a thread of destiny. For the bride-to-be, we are making a special wreath, from the wool we are creating the piece of jewellery that attracts luck and happiness.
We are scent it with fragrant oils. We are explaining the effects of odours: how they can contribute to the fullness of our happiness and fortune. We are listening and singing the songs for Goddess LAIMĖ. We are cherishing and rewarding the future bride and leading her into the most wonderful life event.

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