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Summer events in Lithuania

25th May 2009 Print
Summer events in Lithuania

There has never been a better time to visit Lithuania than now as the country enters its second Millennium. Exactly one thousand years later capital Vilnius has a golden opportunity to reveal its secrets as the European Capital of Culture 2009. The year will see more than 300 events take place across Vilnius and 120 projects planned for the 2010 and 2011 ahead to mark the occasion.

This summer will be bursting with events across the country. The capital Vilnius will host various festivals from classical music to the Millennium Song and Dance festival, which is attended by over 40 thousand folk dancers and singers worldwide.

Kaunas will attract visitors with medieval festivals while Klaipeda will host the “Tall Ships’ Races” and the festival of European folk culture “EUROPEADE”. These are just some of the events scheduled to take place in Lithuania in the summer of 2009.

Folk music festival "Skamba Skamba kankliai" (29 May – 1 June)
The Festival has been taking place in Vilnius since 1973. Each spring, during the last week of May, the Sereikiðkës Park and yards of the Old Town are filled with songs and dances of our ancestors. Country singers, dancers, musicians from different ethnographic regions of Lithuania take part in the Festival. Over 30 folklore groups from Vilnius are regular participants of the Festival. Guests from the Baltic States and other foreign countries arrive to perform in Vilnius annually. The Festival is visited by about 20 thousand people each year.

Vilnius Opera Festival (9 June – 6 July)
The first International Opera Festival will be presenting acknowledged classics of the genre and modern experimental works, most famous theatre troupes, creative team members and artists from Lithuania and abroad, unique works dedicated especially to the festival.

Music and art festival Be2gether (12- 14 June)
The largest musical and artistic festival in the Baltic States, takes place in Lithuania, in the unique surroundings of Dieveniskes close to Belarus borderline. This year the visitors will hear performing British electro-music star Roni Size, famous Touch and Go and others.

The opening of National Art Gallery (20 June)
The museum opens with a dynamic exposition of the national collection of 20th century Lithuanian art and the international exhibition "Dialogues of Colour and Sound. Works by M.K.Èiurlionis and his Contemporaries" (June 20 – August 23, 2009). The National Gallery of Art - a project of the Programme for the Millennium of Lithuania.

Culture Night Let There Be Night! (20 – 21 June, 6 pm – 6 am)
The new tradition of a night of culture in Vilnius - from 6 pm till 6 am - presents an ocean of events which are organized and held in many parts of the capital. This is the event that keeps people awake in the most cultured way: by means of film, dance, theatre, exhibitions, children's creativity sessions, museums and classical music.

The Millennium Song Festival (1-6 July)
Continuing our country’s significant cultural tradition dating back to the memorable 1924, the Millennium Song Festival of Lithuania in Vilnius is being arranged. That will be one of the most prominent events in celebration of the Millennium of Lithuania. The traditions and symbolism of Lithuania’s Song and Dance festivals was proclaimed by UNESCO as the masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity.

The parade of participants, the folk art exhibition, concerts of artistic collectives, the joint performance of amateur theatres “Amerika pirtyje” and many other events will take place. About 40,000 performers from Lithuania and emigrants from all over the world will take part in different programmes.

Grand Opening of the Reconstructed Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania (06 July)
The restoration of Palace of the Grand Dukes in 2009 is one of the most important projects dedicated to Lithuania’s millennium anniversary. The reconstructed Palace will represent a national pride and will be a powerful reminder of Lithuania’s strong traditions as a state. Also it will be an educational centre meant to promote a greater understanding of the country’s history and cultural heritage.

Christopher Summer Festival (1 July – 28 August)
The Christopher Summer Festival is the largest and one of the most impressive summer events in Vilnius, which will take place for the 15th time in 2009. The conception of the festival was to be original—in that the events, music and theatre premieres, exceptional projects and performances would be executed in the unique surroundings of Vilnius’ architecture and in the unique courtyards and churches of the Old Town so that it would be especially interesting for both visitors and residents of Vilnius. /

Klezmer Festival (25-29 August)
Klezmer Music Festival – the first in the Baltic States will confirm once again that Vilnius has been open to different nations, religions and cultures at all times. The main idea of the Festival is to introduce music which can be played and enjoyed irrespective of religion.

Midsummer Day - Feast of St. John (23 June from 8 pm to 5 am)
The traditional Lithuanian feast Midsummer's Day. During the feast, wreaths are made and floated down the river, herb markets and herbal magic take place. Wheels and gates twined with herbs are the symbol of Joninës.

Festival of experimental archaeology of live archaeology: "Days of Live Archaeology” (4- 6 July)
During the festival prehistoric and early medieval crafts, lifestyle, medieval fights are being demonstrated and archaic music groups perform. A historic and cultural heritage of Lithuania and other European countries from prehistoric to late medieval times will be presented during the event, through the methods of experiment and archaeological reconstruction.

Medieval Festival of Trakai Castle (07-08 June)
On the territory of the Peninsular Castle guests may visit workshops temporarily set by craftsmen. Prime focus of this event is knights‘fights with swords, bats and battleaxes. Gourmands have a chance to taste dishes, appreciated by people who lived in the Middle Ages.

Pazaislis Music festival in Kaunas (01 June - 31 August)
Since 1996 when the first Paþaislis music festival took place a lot of representatives of music elite had visited Lithuania. Festival is famous for the fact, that the listeners of the most particular taste may find in the schedule of the festival something what interests them, starting from the old music and finishing with jazz, from the subtle chamber music to the grand vocal instrumental pieces, from the modern music premieres to the impressive pageants of Lithuanian dramaturgy in the approaches of Kaunas Castle.

10th Auto-Moto Fan Fiesta Bike Show Millennium & Auto Show (13 June)
Baltic Drag race competition. 16 most powerful Baltic region cars will try to spin planet Earth a little bit faster at Bracket ET race in Kaunas.

International Operetta Festival (4-5 July)
This is a unique musical event in the open that attracts audience of various tastes. The festival “Musical in Kaunas castle” takes place on July 6, the Day of Lithuania’s Statehood, and is an outstanding accent of the day. “Operetta at Kaunas castle” is an original festival, first of such kind in East Europe. At the traditional annual event, not only popular fragments of musicals and operettas, but also some new pieces, never heard before, are performed by singers and musicians from Lithuania and other countries.

Hansa Kaunas 2009 (22 – 23 August)
The Midlle Ages, knights, and Hansa markets in Kaunas downtown.

Sea Festival (25-26 July)
The main event of Klaipëda city, celebrated annually last week-end of July since 1934. During the festival there are more than 100 various events organized (concerts, fairs, exhibitions, artistic actions, ceremonies of seamen, etc.). It is also famous for traditional sailing regattas “Baltic Sail” and “Sprint Cup” taking place during the festival. More than 500 thousands of people are coming to the city during the festival.

EUROPEADE (The Festival of European Folk Culture) (22 – 26 July)
For the first time European folk culture festival “Europeade” will take place in Lithuania, in Klaipëda. The main goal of the festival is “free and peaceful Europe, where cultures of different nations coexist together“. Thus there are cultural forms of more than 20 European States presented during five days of “Europeade” and thousands of Europeans (approx. 5 thousands) have their folk-art meeting with dances, songs and music.

Klaipëda will become the 25th city, which has been honoured to accept festival for the 46th time and to present uniqueness of our country and its culture, but also contribute to the creation of an image of the country, which cherishes its identity in the framework of Lithuanian Millennium program.

The Tall Ships Races Baltic 2009 (31 July – 3 August)
The first regatta of sail training ships “The Tall Ships’ Races” held from Great Britain to Portugal in 1956, had to mark the end of “the epoch of sails”. But, actually, it happened to prophesy a new era for sailing ships and sail training. Every year the regattas are organized in different seas, but they always cover three routes and are hosted by four ports of different countries. In 2009 Klaipeda will host the finals of the regatta. The event is dedicated to the Millennium of the Name of Lithuania.

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Summer events in Lithuania