Travelers visiting Europe usually add Switzerland, France, and Italy to their itinerary. European countries like Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania are often ignored. However, the bucket list of travelers has changed with time and explorers are planning their trip to visit the hidden gems of Europe. Lithuania has emerged to be one of the most inexpensive tourist destinations of Europe. So, budget travelers and backpackers prefer visiting this gorgeous country to discover its beauty, traditions, culture, and history.
The best time to visit Lithuania is in summer season, as the weather is pleasant and warm. However, remember that it rains for the entire year so you should pack a travel umbrella and carry it whenever you step out of the hotel room. There is so much to explore in this country that a short trip would not be sufficient. Moreover, there cannot be anything better than exploring a city at the time of festivities and joy. Lithuania celebrates innumerable festivals and some of them are absolutely crazy as well as unique. So, if you are planning to visit this amazing country in the near future then book your tickets in such a way that you can experience one of the below mentioned top five festivals in Lithuania.
The Užgavėnės festival, which is commonly known as Shrove Tuesday is celebrated as the day when winter season comes to an end and spring season begins. To celebrate it, Lithuanian locals dress up in traditional masks and costumes and visit their friends and neighboring houses. Some of them even get dressed up as witch and wizards. They sing loud songs, dance on the streets, eat lots of pancakes, and play fun games.
The craziest part of the festival is that in the evening they encircle around an effigy of winter called ‘More’. The effigy represents the conflict between the two seasons and is put to an end by burning, drowning in water, or kept on a sledge and pushed from a hill. As More comes to an end, it is officially declared that winter season is over and spring has arrived.
Celebrating the sea festival is one of the craziest things to do and Klaipeda city of Lithuania has been organizing it since 1934. The Klaipeda sea festival is conducted each year from 26th July to 29th July. Artists and painters decorate the entire Klaipeda old town beautifully for the festivities.
The carnival has garnered such a lot of popularity that thousands of people from various parts of the world visit each year to enjoy music, dance, and more. There are innumerable shops selling souvenirs and handmade crafts to the visitors. Those who want to taste the authentic Lithuanian cuisine should visit Lithuania at this time of the year. However, ensure that you book your stay well in advance as all Klaipeda hotels would be jam-packed.
It is a festival that is celebrated on the night of June 23 to mark the Midsummer Eve. The traditions began in the morning itself, when women have to wash their faces with fresh dew and in the evenings they make wishes, sing songs, and dance merrily around the bonfires. The God of Fertility; ‘Lada’ and God of Thunder; ‘Perkunas’ are worshipped on that day.
Young couples are supposed to go hunting for the magical fern blossoms that are visible only in the middle of the night, and the crazy part is that ferns do not have blossoms; so the couple end up having a romantic walk in the forest. The entire night is spent in this way to achieve victory of light over darkness. It is a celebration of rebirth for nature and Lithuanians wait impatiently for this day each year.
There are few Christmas traditions that are still been followed by Lithuanians on 24th December each year. Some of these traditions are extremely interesting and exceptional. On Christmas Eve, an empty plate is kept on the dinner table, which signifies that you are feeding those friends and family members who have been lost in the past year. Another ritual that they follow is to keep few pieces of straw under the dining tablecloth.
The straws are of varied sizes and the guest has to pick one of them. Basically, the length of the straw that you select represents your lifespan and the person who picks the tallest straw will receive the best gift from the host. One more tradition that is still been followed on 24th December is that girls who are eligible for marriage can get to know their spouse’s name by playing a simple game. Each girl has to write names of various eligible men on small pieces of paper and keep them into her pillow case before going off to sleep. In the morning, the girl is supposed to remove the first chit that comes to her hand and the name written on the chit could be her future husband.
Children are extremely excited to celebrate Easter as they wait anxiously to find their Easter eggs. Parents usually hide the Easter presents at various corners of the house and the kids are supposed to find it. However, in Lithuania, it’s the Velyku Bobute or the Easter Granny who hands over the Easter eggs to the children. However, she has a few bunnies that help her in decorating the eggs and putting them in a cart so that she can deliver to all kids. However, a few decades ago, the Easter egg was buried by men in their fields with the hope that their harvest would be better. Women used to hide the eggs in their home, hoping that the egg would protect their house and family against thunder.
Interesting, isn’t it? So, do you want to experience these crazy festivals of Lithuania? If yes, then plan your trip to this beautiful country in Europe and have a wonderful stay out here. You are surely going to have one of the best holidays of a lifetime by visiting the largest and most populous Baltic State.
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