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This year the summer celebrations in Lithuania are running wild and it isn’t a coincidence at all! The year 2018 is truly special, as it commemorates a hundred years since the three Baltic countries have become independent. Let’s take a look at how Lithuanians celebrate their most important events of the summer.
In your usual Lithuanian summer, the night of 23 June would be the one you’d patiently wait for! Believe us, Lithuanians take the St. John’s day really seriously – the following day has even been declared as a public holiday since 2003. However, this year the celebrations have been taken to the next level because of the anniversary. All the Midsummer celebrations in Lithuania, regardless of their size, have few things in common – bright bonfires of various sizes with heroic celebrators fearlessly jumping over them, people wandering in the forests and hoping to see some fireflies, and a massive search for a mystical natural wonder – a blossoming fern. These and some other Baltic traditions create a really spectacular sighting! If you’ve unfortunately missed them this year – you should prepare for the ones next year and go to the biggest sites of celebration in Trakai, Jonava or Kernavė!
The Song Festivals in the Baltic Countries have an especially rich history and are famous because of their sheer massiveness – usually, the event has about 30 000 participants singing and dancing their way through the celebration! When we’ve said that the Midsummer celebrations are taken to the next level – this is no exception for the Song Festival too. Branded as Lithuania’s Centenary Song Celebration, the festival has some ambitions to become the most massive one yet! Indeed, this ambition is more than just a bold claim – Lithuanians from all over the world have been flooding to their motherland to participate in this celebration. This year the festival is celebrated from 30th June until 6th July and, as it is held every 4 years, 2022 would be a good year to witness it, in case you’ve missed it this year.
Lithuanians are really proud of their history and it shouldn’t be unusual that their statehood day is dedicated to an event that has happened almost 800 years ago. July 6th, 1253 was the day the first and only king of Lithuania, Mindaugas was coronated and the state started gaining its reputation as one of the powerhouses of medieval Europe. Today, the Statehood Day is widely celebrated throughout the country. Various concerts, medieval fight simulations, and traditional crafts fairs are held, thus making it perfect to get some unique souvenirs and get a taste of the Baltic culture and gastronomy. Despite all the fun of these fairs – every year at 9 pm, local time, Lithuanians get really serious and sentimental. The National Anthem is sung at this time, and what is utterly amazing, the singing is performed all over the world at the same time!
Want to get an even larger picture of the Baltic lifestyle? There is only one way to do this – witness it yourself! Check out our featured tours and don’t miss out on the celebrations next year!