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Farewell To Winter Tour

Country: Lithuania
City: Vilnius
Duration: 5 Day(s) - 4 Night(s)
Tour Category: Festival Tours
Departure Date: Thu 01 Jan '99

Package Itinerary

Celebrating of Shrovetide at the Open Air Museum of Lithuania and Shrove Tuesday in Vilnius

Shrove Tuesday in Vilnius – not a holiday but is singled out as the day which puts to end meat eating and the time of merrymaking – Tuesday before Lent. At the beginning of this century, in Eastern and South Eastern regions, people celebrated three meat eating days, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Visitors to Vilnius’ Academy mentioned that at the beginning of 17th century, Shrove Tuesday carnival walks lasted three days, they were similar to carnivals taking place in other parts of Europe.The traditional element of the feast, meant to drive away the winter, is a theatrical fight between Lasininis, representing winter, and Kanapinis, representing spring. Devils, witches, goats and other grotesque characters also appear at the celebration feast. During the holiday, the masqueraders dance and eat traditional round pancakes that symbolize the returning sun. Of course, with Christianity's adoption of the festival it conveniently became a blow out before fasting for Lent. The festival ends with the burning of a female winter effigy known as More, who is carried through the streets by a crowd of masked merrymakers, then burnt on a huge bonfire in a ceremonial ritual.

Day 1 (Saturday)

Arrival at Vilnius airport. Transfer to the hotel. Check-in. Depending on arrival time, you can to walk around the city.



Day 2 (Sunday) VILNIUS-RUMŠIŠKĖS-VILNIUS (ca. 160 km)

Trip to Rumsiskes, the Lithuanian Open Air Museum, where you can experience how Shrovetide is celebrated traditionally in Lithuania. You have on occasion not only to watch, but also together with the other guests to sing, to dance and to play. Return to Vilnius.



Day 3 (Monday) VILNIUS-TRAKAI-VILNIUS (50 km)

Walking tour of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania for more than 600 years, encompasses the most significant sights of the town: Gediminas Castle (14th century) on the Gediminas Hill, built by the founder of Vilnius city Grand Duke Gediminas; Cathedral Square; - St. Anne’s Church and Bernardine Church - Lithuanian gothic example; the Gates of  Dawn with a holy image of the Virgin Mary; Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit; the Town Hall Square; Vilnius University (founded in 1579)  Ensemble  with St.John‘s Church; President Palace. Coffee/ tea with cake at local restaurant. Free time in Vilnius.



Day 4 (TuesdayVILNIUS

Breakfast at hotel. Full day  for Shrove Tuesday activities  in Vilnius. Optional:  half day excursion to Trakai, the former capital of the Grand Duchy of  Lithuania, nestled in a picturesque region of lakes, forests and hills 25 km from Vilnius, includes a visit to Trakai Castle, the spectacular complex of defensive fortifications of the 15th century erected on the island in the lake Galvė. Today it houses the Historical and Applied Art Museum with an ethnographical exposition of Karaites, the small ethnic minority living in Trakai till nowadays.  Return to Vilnius.



Day 5 (Wednesday) VILNIUS

Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Vilnius airport.


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