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Events

Vilnius does not lack for interesting events all year round. There are various cultural events, festivals and celebrations taking place either in the open air, in halls or in non-traditional venues. Below is information on some of the major city events each year.

Information about events www.vilnius-events.lt
 
1 January
DAY OF THE LITHUANIAN FLAG

On 1 January 1919, the Lithuanian tricolour was hoisted on the tower of the Gediminas Castle for the first time. To celebrate this day, a solemn ceremony of replacing the flag is held on Gediminas Hill in Vilnius.

6 January
THREE KINGS FESTIVAL (EPIPHANY)

The Three Kings Festival is an impressive mystery performance which symbolises the end of the winter holidays. The Three Kings (the three wise men of the Gospels) pass through the Old Town and wish residents good health, peace and wellbeing.

16 February
LITHUANIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY
On 16 February 1918, the Council of Lithuania signed the Act of Independence of Lithuania, which proclaimed the termination of all state ties and declared Lithuania an independent state. Solemn commemorations, concerts, orchestra parades and other events take place in the capital and all over the country.

February (46 days before Easter)
SHROVE TUESDAY

A calendar holiday during which Shrove Tuesday mummers flood the Old Town to “drive out winter”, and pancakes are cooked. If you eat many pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, your year will be a success. At the end of the festivities, Morė (a symbol of winter disasters), is burned on a bonfire and people await the arrival of spring.
For more information please visit www.etno.lt  

February
VILNIUS BOOK FAIR

At the end of February there is a major Book Fair event at the Litexpo exhibition centre and there are sales of books published in Lithuania taking place at book shops and cultural spaces around Vilnius, as well as opportunities to meet famous authors from all around the world.
Foe more information please visit www.litexpo.lt

First weekend of March
KAZIUKAS FAIR

The fair, which originated from the day of St. Casimir, the guardian of Lithuania, has been in existence for over 400 years. This is the largest occasion for traditional craftsmen to present their work to visitors. It is also a celebration which embraces all areas of the Old Town.

11 March
DAY OF RESTORATION OF LITHUANIAN INDEPENDENCE

The Act of Re-establishment of the State of Lithuania was signed on 11 March 1990. On this day, the victims of fights for Lithuanian independence are honoured, the ceremony of hoisting the state flag takes place in the Nepriklausomybės Sq., and brass band parades, performances by various groups, and concerts are organised.

March–April
INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL KINO PAVASARIS (SPRING OF CINEMA)
This festival offers its audience a chance to see well-known or awarded movies from various film festivals; meetings with prominent representatives of the film industry are organised alongside thematic evenings or discussions.
For more information please visit www.kinopavasaris.lt  

April
MUSIC FESTIVAL GARSO GALERIJA (JAUNA MUZIKA)
The festival Jauna Muzika is the largest festival of electronic and electro acoustic music in the Baltic States. It presents the audience with the latest achievements and projects of musical art.
For more information please visit www.garsogalerija.net

April
INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL SUGRĮŽIMAI (THE RETURNS)

Concert halls in Vilnius and other towns of the country see the return of Lithuanian musicians who work or study abroad and who often bring a foreign colleague to the festival. Almost all Lithuanian music stars from all over the world return to perform at Sugrįžimai.
For more information please visit www.lmrf.lt  

May
DAY OF STREET MUSIC

This is a new tradition whereby music professionals and amateurs play and sing in the streets, squares, and parks of the capital like street musicians.
For more information please visit www.gatvesmuzika.lt

May
INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY DANCE FESTIVAL NAUJASIS BALTIJOS ŠOKIS (NEW BALTIC DANCE)

This is the largest event of contemporary dance in the Baltic countries, which attracts participants not only from the Baltic Sea region, but also from other countries and continents.
For more information please visit www.dance.lt  

May
INTERNATIONAL POETRY FESTIVAL POEZIJOS PAVASARIS (POETRY SPRING)

Lithuanian poets and guests from abroad read their poems in various venues of the city; debates and discussions with listeners take place.
For more information please visit www.rasytojai.lt  

Last week of May
INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF FOLK MUSIC SKAMBA SKAMBA KANKLIAI

Exciting concerts involving folk groups from Lithuania and many foreign countries take place in squares, parks and courtyards of Vilnius Old Town. A fair of folk crafts accompanies the festival.
For more information please visit www.etno.lt  

May
VILNIUS FESTIVAL

Vilnius Festival is an international music festival, recognised by the European Association of Festivals, which attracts distinguished performers, representatives of the world music elite and the best bands of Lithuania (10–15 events).
For more information please visit www.vilniusfestivals.lt  

June
CULTURE NIGHT „LET THERE BE NIGHT!“

New tradition of the city started from 2007 as a part of National Program „Vilnius – European Capital of Culture 2009“. Traditionally it takes place on the weekend before St. John’s (Midsummer’s Day) Day. Next culture night will take place on June 18th, 2011 from 6.00 p.m. until 2.00 a.m. There will be classical and contemporary music concerts in city‘s squares and churches, movies and dance lessons in open air, performances, arts workshops, as well as museums and galleries will be opened with special programs.
For more information please visit www.kulturosnaktis.lt

23 June
ST. JOHN’S (MIDSUMMER’S DAY)
Summer solstice or Rasos Festival originated in pagan times and was renamed St. John’s Festival in Christian times. An evening party with songs, folk dances, and fortune-telling is organised in Verkiai Regional Park. At midnight, the search for a magic fern blossom, which allegedly blossoms on that night only, begins.
For more information please visit www.pavilniai-verkiai.lt

6 July
CROWNING OF KING MINDAUGAS—DAY OF STATEHOOD
On the Day of Statehood, Lithuania celebrates the day of the crowning of Duke Mindaugas, the founder of the State of Lithuania. Days of Live Archaeology are organised at the foot of Gediminas Hill and in the Old Town where craftsmen demonstrate old crafts, knights can be seen standing in groups, participants listen to old music and are welcomed to the fairs, and concerts of ethnographical bands or other festivities are organised around the city.

July–August
CHRISTOPHER’S SUMMER FESTIVAL

This is an international festival that abides by the rule “all genres are good except the boring ones”. It is one of the biggest summer events in Vilnius, which attracts numerous performers from Lithuania and other countries. (Around 40–50 events)
For more information please visit www.kristupofestivaliai.lt  

July
CASTLE FESTIVAL

The Castle Festival, which is held annually, presents the public with Renaissance and Early Baroque material, as well as the spiritual and cultural heritage of the manor of Grand Dukes of Lithuania and promotes its restoration.
For more information please visit www.valdovurumai.lt  

From the end of August to the beginning of September
SOSTINĖS DIENOS (CAPITAL DAYS)

Numerous highly ingenious and even extreme performances are held in various outdoor venues in the capital during the Days of the Capital. Gedimino Avenue turns into a huge art workshop and a gallery of different national cuisines.
For more information please visit www.vilniusfestivals.lt

The last but one week of September
AUTUMN EQUINOX. FESTIVAL OF GEDIMINAS
This event devoted to the founder of Vilnius, Duke Gediminas, includes a carnival and concerts given by Lithuanian regional and ethnic minorities. An impressive mystery performance of fire sculptures crowns the finale of the festivities. Before the performance, large straw sculptures created by professional artists are exhibited outdoors around the city
For more information please visit www.etno.lt  

October
INTERNATIONAL THEATRE FESTIVAL SIRENOS (SIRENS)

Sirenos presents provoking and challenging modern European theatre and new impressive projects of the Lithuanian stage. Performances are staged in various theatres of Vilnius and other locations.
For more information please visit www.sirenos.lt  

October
INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL VILNIUS JAZZ
Vilnius Jazz, the oldest festival, attracts the participation of the best Lithuanian jazz performers and prominent jazzmen from other countries. Vilnius Jazz is famous for creative and ambitious programmes and improvisations.
For more information please visit www.vilniusjazz.lt

October
INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY MUSIC FESTIVAL GAIDA (THE TUNE)

This, the main and largest contemporary music festival in Lithuania, presents the newest music trends, fashions and creative processes in Lithuania and the world and attracts the participation of prominent original performers.
For more information please visit www.vilniusfestivals.lt

November
GRAND PARADE OF MUSICIANS
This is a unique event of Lithuanian performers, which has taken the shape of a concert-marathon lasting from nine to ten hours. Hundreds of performers take part in the event—from the most prominent country musicians and groups to young talents who have already won recognition in international contests.

November
INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL VILNIUS MAMA JAZZ

The youngest jazz festival in Lithuania, open to all styles and trends of jazz music, has already taken its place among the most significant events both in Vilnius and all over Lithuania.
For more information please visit www.vilniuscityjazz.lt

22 December
FEAST OF BLUKAS

According to ancient Lithuanian customs, when the darkest season comes, Blukas—an old stump—is dragged through courtyards collecting the troubles of the ending year. By burning it, people get rid of all the troubles of the old year.

From the end of November to the middle of January
WINTER FESTIVITIES IN THE CAPITAL

Every year winter brings numerous concerts, performances, exhibitions, fairs and other entertainments to Vilnius. The Christmas season is the main religious and most scintillating winter holiday, which lasts until the Three Kings.
For more information please visit www.kaledossostineje.lt