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Currently, in Lithuania, it’s that time of the year when the local craftsmen are sweating in their workshops and preparing for one of the biggest events of the year – the annual St. Casimir’s or Kaziukas fair! Get acquainted with one of the biggest events in Lithuania!
The origins of Kaziukas fair can be traced way back to the beginning of 17th century, the time when Casimir Jagiellon was canonized and became a Saint. To celebrate the feast day and canonization, the merchants started a small annual fair. As the time passed, Saint Casimir became the patron saint of Lithuania and the fair escalated into one of the biggest mass events in the country.
Nowadays, the fair has become the definition of March’s first weekend. Every year it attracts over 500 000 visitors and 2 000 merchants from Lithuania and its neighboring countries. The biggest fair is held in Vilnius Old Town, occupying most of the major streets. However, the fair is held in almost every city across the country. Even schools and kindergartens celebrate their own little fairs.
The most impressive thing about the fair is that you get an opportunity to buy absolutely everything. From wooden fidget-spinners to pieces of contemporary art – Kaziukas fair will have something to suit your needs without a doubt. Despite the impressive range of offerings, there are some nearly mandatory things to buy when visiting the fair. Probably the most important good is Easter Palm, the handcrafted symbol of spring and the icon of Kaziukas fair. Buying a fine wicker basket is nearly as important as buying an Easter Palm. It has even become a tradition to buy some wickerwork, in order to carry your other purchases.
The last things on the list are wooden souvenirs. The fair boasts a tremendous amount of handmade high-quality wooden dishes and cutlery. The latter are the perfect traditional Lithuanian souvenirs to bring back home from the fair.
It would be a sin not to taste the variety of traditional Lithuanian dishes during the fair. The signature dish of Kaziukas fair is Baranka, a local bread roll. You will see thousands of people wearing multiple Barankas around their neck, as there is a tradition to buy and equip a necklace of these bread rolls and wear it throughout the fair. The distinctive smell of another signature dish can be recognized way before reaching the actual fair. It’s the smell of local cabbage stew! This is the main hot dish of the fair and should be given a chance. Other drinks and dishes worth mentioning are gira, a local rye bread drink, gingerbread, homemade beer, various meats and sweets.
Fancy such a traditional Lithuanian experience? Check out our tours around the Baltics now!