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Article

Intersection of the Religious and the Secular: The Cemetery Festival in Latvia

1
Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Daugavpils University, 5401 Daugavpils, Latvia
2
Department of Sociology, Andragogy and Cultural Anthropology, Palacký University Olomouc, 77180 Olomouc, Czech Republic
Academic Editor: Roberto Cipriani
Religions 2021, 12(2), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020069
Received: 30 November 2020 / Revised: 9 January 2021 / Accepted: 19 January 2021 / Published: 21 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion in the Contemporary Transformation Society)
This article addresses the commemoration of the deceased by examining a peculiar Latvian religious tradition—the cemetery festival. Latvian society is moving down the path to secularization. Participation in religious ritual practices could be expected to decrease in a predominately secular society. Nevertheless, the tradition of the cemetery festival practiced in Latvia shows that the relationship between the religious and the secular is much more complex than simply being in opposition to each other. The analysis is based on data obtained by undertaking fieldwork at cemeteries in Latvia. Participant observation and qualitative in-depth interviews were the main research tools used in the fieldwork. Through an analysis of the fieldwork data, this article explains, first, how honoring of the deceased currently takes place in Latvia; second, the factors which have determined the preservation of the cemetery festival tradition despite the forced secularization of the Soviet period and the general secularization encountered today; third, the relationship between religious and secular activities and their transformation at the cemetery festival. View Full-Text
Keywords: transformations in religious practices; cemetery festival; religious; secular; death rituals; commemoration of the deceased; gravesites transformations in religious practices; cemetery festival; religious; secular; death rituals; commemoration of the deceased; gravesites
MDPI and ACS Style

Stasulane, A. Intersection of the Religious and the Secular: The Cemetery Festival in Latvia. Religions 2021, 12, 69. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020069

AMA Style

Stasulane A. Intersection of the Religious and the Secular: The Cemetery Festival in Latvia. Religions. 2021; 12(2):69. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020069

Chicago/Turabian Style

Stasulane, Anita. 2021. "Intersection of the Religious and the Secular: The Cemetery Festival in Latvia" Religions 12, no. 2: 69. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020069

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