The name is derived from the Lithuanian jūra meaning, “sea.”
One of the most beautiful and romantic stories from Baltic legend has to be Jūratė and Kastytis.
According to the legend, Jūratė was a beautiful marine goddess that lived beneath the Baltic sea in an amber palace. She was the queen of the fishes and ruled over all sea-life. A fisherman by the name of Kastystis was catching too many of her fish. Out of distress, Jūratė came ashore to reprimand Kastytis, but ended up falling in love with him instaed.
Jūratė invited Kastytis to live in her amber palace and they lived in peace. When the thunder god, Perkūnas found out that the immortal sea-goddess had fallen in love with a mortal man, he was outraged, and in retribution, the chief god struck her amber palace, shattering it into tiny fragmented pieces. It is said that the amber pieces found on the shores of the Baltic are the fragments of Jūratė’s palace.
Throughout Lithuanian literary history, the story has been the subject of poems, ballads and it was even recently made into a rock opera.
The designated name-day is April 12.
An obscure Polish form is Jurata.