The two weeks before Ziemassvetki are called Zveru laiks, the "season of animals."
During the festival, candles are lit for Dievs and Martins and a fire is kept burning until the end, when its extinguising signals an end to the unhappiness of the previous year. During the ensuing feast, a space at the table is reserved for Dievs, who was said to arrive on a sleigh. during the feast, certain foods were always eaten: bread, beans, peas, beer, pork and pig snout and feet. Carolers (Kaladnieces) went door to door singing songs and eating from many different houses.