The 6 week festival “Christmas in Vilnius” will present a lot of light and impression to Vilnius residents and guests. While taking care of safety, the long awaited Christmas towns, a Christmas tale, an international Christmas charity fair, a Christmas run, and an ice rink near the White Bridge are returning this year. Vilnius invites you to watch the celebratory lighting of the Christmas tree in the most important country safely from home – on LRT television channel already this Saturday evening.
Musical story of Vilnius Christmas tree lighting
This year also, everyone is invited to watch the lighting of the Christmas tree in the capital safely, only on TV. During the exclusive LRT channel broadcast at 19 o’clock on 27th of November , we will see a special musical story of the of the Vilnius Christmas tree lighting. The mayor of Vilnius, Remigijus Šimašius will light up the Christmas tree – also from a distance.
Famous Lithuanian performers will create a festive mood and send melodic wishes to the audience at home from various parts of the city: Jazzu, the group “The Roop”, Jessica Shy and Rokas, Donatas Montvydas, Vidas Bareikis, Jeronimas Milius and Karina Krysko, Jurga and the group “Biplan” , Inga Jankauskaitė, Iglė and Tadas, Dainotas Varnas, FC Baseball, Dominykas Vaitiekūnas. One of the surprises is the premiere of Monika Pundziūtė-Moniqué song.
The Vilnius Christmas tree – a symbol of a real white winter and bright Christmas
Although the full beauty of the Christmas tree in the Cathedral Square will be visible only on Saturday evening, while it is still being decorated, it can be seen that the Vilnius Christmas tree of 2021 will be a symbol of a real white winter and a bright shining Christmas. It’s design idea was inspired by last winter – with snow, cold and all it’s pleasures. Snowflake crystals with unique geometric structures were chosen as the accent of the festive construction. These temporary miniature atmospheric sculptures, transformed into elements of festive decoration, have been magnified a thousand times – as if you were observing a real snowflake through an optical device.
“The beauty of the snowflake crystal lies in its symmetrical, correct geometry, with all branches forming an angle of 60 or 120 degrees. It is also interesting that all snowflakes are different. The main Christmas tree of the capital is decorated with 96 decorations of glowing snowflakes in different sizes and different patterns, a bit far apart from the main construction as ”, – says Dominykas Koncevičius, the author of the project and the designer of “Švenčių studija”.
The top of the spectacular Christmas tree is decorated with a 6-meter-diameter Christmas star. The base of the Christmas tree consists of white branches and mirrored surfaces, and the effect of snow shimmer is created by the veil of garlands surrounding the tree. “Fragments of mirrors symbolizing ice reflect decorations, light bulbs and the silhouettes of the surrounding environment – buildings, people, skies. It creates an instant miracle – a play of lights, colors and shapes. The total surface area of the mirrors is 200 sq. m.,”– says the author of the project.
Christmas town – in Vilnius squares and parks
Unlike usual, the Christmas town will be located in more than one place this year. After looking for gifts and Christmas souvenirs in the Cathedral Square, a cup of hot wine and gourmet snacks will warm up in Odminiai Square. Vincas Kudirka Square will offer visitors a variety of delicacies, and Lukiškės Square will offer sweet Christmas treats and hot drinks.
The Christmas town will operate for Vilnius residents and guests from the day the Christmas tree will be lit until 2nd of January, 2022.
There will also be an electronic Christmas town, which attracted a lot of interest last year, where you can buy gifts conveniently without leaving home. It again brought local developers, entrepreneurs and craftsmen together this year. Will be available from 1st of December, 2021 until 9th of January, 2022 the website www.kaledossostineje.lt https://www.kaledossostineje.lt/e-kaledu-miestelis/.
A competition – “Creating a Christmas cheer in Vilnius 2021” is taking place
Not only “Christmas Town”, but also creatively decorated shining showcase windows of the city, illuminated Old Town, main streets and squares, parks and other public spaces invite you to walk around the capital.
Cathedral and Town Hall Squares, Odminiai Square, Reformates Square, Castle Square, Bernardinai Garden, S. Moniuška Square, S. Geda square, Šypsenos Alley, Markučiai Park Trail, Sapiegos Park, Trakai Vokė Manor, Iron Wolf Bridge, Geležinio Vilko str. pedestrian bridge, Western Bypass, Narbuto, Drujos str. and Vingis Park pedestrian bridges, Vingis Park entrance from M. K. Čiurlionio Street will be festively decorated. Lukiškės Square will also shine in new colors.
Encouraging the widest possible range of initiatives to create a festive atmosphere in the city and seeing the growing involvement of community and business representatives, this year Vilnius municipality has expanded and renewed the decoration competition “Creating a Christmas cheer in Vilnius 2021”. Entrepreneurs, companies, institutions and private initiatives of the capital, communities and Vilnius residents are invited to festively decorate not only the windows, doors, houses, facades of the shops, cafes, restaurants, institutions that create a connection with passers-by, but also arcades, squares, streets and open courtyards, office or corporate spaces. When choosing creative decoration ideas, it is recommended to use sustainable materials. Generous prizes await for the contestants. Registration for the competition has already started here: https://www.kaledossostineje.lt/konkurso-registracija/.
The communities of Vilnius will also celebrate
Many ornate Christmas trees will shine in the 21st community of Vilnius during the whole festive period. In addition, in December, the symbol of winter, peace, transformation and rebirth, the artistic installation “Snowflake” will travel through all elderships. They are all different, with unique shapes and qualities, just like humans, so the installation encodes a meaningful message – as part of a community, we are each different, special and valuable.
A Christmas charity fair will bring everyone together for good labor
The 19th International Christmas Charity Fair will take place in Vilnius Town Hall Square on 4th of December and will bring everyone together for good labor. This year there will be more than 30 stands with a variety of original handicrafts, souvenirs and delicacies from various countries on the fair organized by the International Women’s Association of Vilnius (IWAV) and foreign diplomatic and business communities. All funds raised on the day of the fair and related to it will be donated to organizations concerned with the welfare of minors, young people and the elderly.
In preparation for the 700th anniversary of Vilnius, a symbol of the city’s birthday will be lit in the Town Hall Square – a light installation – a stylized speaker as a modern interpretation of the Vilnius city founding legend, which said: “the capital will stand here and its sound will spread all over the world”. Visitors of the Town Hall Square are invited to take photos, greet Vilnius and spread the message of the upcoming 700th anniversary.
The second city christmas tree in the Town Hall Square will be lit in the evening of 4th of December. For the second year in a row, the Christmas tree – pine cone will decorate Vilnius Old Town until 9th of January, 2022.
A Christmas tale is back
A highly everyone’s awaited Christmas tale is coming back – only during Christmas week – a spectacle of bright and colorful video projections, music and sounds will be shown on the main wall of Vilnius Cathedral. This year it is an emotional and meaningful tale based on the famous short story of the same name by the English writer Charles Dickens – “Christmas Carol”. In order for Vilnius residents and guests to enjoy the enchanting Christmas tale safely – without any gathering, the 15-minute tale will take place on 25-30 of December and will be shown even seven times in the evening.
Active festive entertainment
Although this year the Christmas train will not run due to the pandemic, there will be a joyous holiday ice rink located near the White Bridge. Vilnius ice rink will have a roof structure, so visitors will be welcome in any weather. The ice rink opens from 17 o’clock of 27th of November – the figure skating team “Silver Ice Skate” will be the first to test the ice and give an impressive performance, and from 17.30 everyone will have their first free session. A DJ performance will create a mood for ice skaters. There will be a live queue of visitors on the first night of the free session.
After the first free ice skating session, the arena will be open until 23.15 o’clock. The price of the ice skating session is 4.50 Eur (ice skate shoes rental is included), duration – 45 minutes, a break for ice preparation – 30 minutes. In addition to ice skating sessions, Vilnius ice rink will host sports and cultural events until March.
The 46th “Eurovaistinė Christmas Run 2021” will invite to actively meet the most beautiful winter holidays on December 12th. Runners are invited to dress up with the brightest hats and the most inventive costumes, and to overcome the selected holiday kilometers through the streets of Vilnius or virtually. Registration for the Christmas run is already happening: www.kaledinisbegimas.lt
Cultural and cognitive entertainment
On November 27 – January 29, 2022 you will be invited to a unique exhibition of Nativity Sets “Here is the star! Birth scene: from the Alps to the Baltic Sea ”, exhibited at the Museum of Ecclesiastical Heritage (Šv. Mykolo St. 9, Vilnius).
The exhibition features one of the most important events in the Christian liturgy: the birth of the baby Jesus and exhibits from the Freising Diocesian Museum (Bavaria, Germany). Among the 29 objects from German and Lithuanian museum repositories, churches and private collections – historical, XV century reliefs, paintings, nativity sets and sculptures, modern works created by professional artists, including the smallest nano-nativity set in the world – a third of a millimeter in size.
On 18-26 of December, 2021, to take a walk through the festive Vilnius, and get to know it better will invite free Christmas tours – “Celebrations in Vilnius Castles: Stories and Legends”. The territory of Vilnius castles is the heart of the “Christmas capital”. It is one of the most famous places in Vilnius, which protects many of the city’s secrets, stories and legends.
Taste the Christmas Vilnius!
A journey full of culinary experiences awaits everyone on the gastronomic route “Taste the Christmas Vilnius” untill 30th of December. More information about the holiday offers is available on the website of the Vilnius City Tourism and Business Development Agency “Go Vilnius” at www.govilnius.lt/kaledos.
“Christmas in Vilnius” invites you to entertain, celebrate and admire the events responsibly, while protecting yourself and others. For all safety and health reasons, you will be asked not to gather in crowd, to keep a safe distance, and it is recommended to wear protective face masks covering the nose and mouth.