KAUNAS TOUR “THE OLD TOWN SECRETS IN KAUNAS” 

Date: Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Duration: 2,5 hours

A good opportunity to discover the most important and amazing places in Kaunas:

  • to see Town Hall called “White Swan”, Thunder House, Vytautas Church;
  • to hear a history about the longest bridge in Kaunas;
  • to take a walk down the stone-paved Vilnius street;
  • to visit the cradle of the Old Town – Kaunas castle;
  • and, of course, to see the oldest gothic style churches in Kaunas.

jonines-amfiteatre-7-1024x682 kaunas_senamiestis_opa 35188116 Kaunas, Lithuania --- Kaunas Castle was built around the mid-14th century at a defensively strong point, near the Nemunas River and the Neris River. --- Image by © Franz-Marc Frei/Corbis

A NIGHT WHEN CHARMS COME TRUE AND THE MAGICAL FLOWER BLOOMS

Date: Friday-Saturday, June 23-24, 2017 

Duration: until sunrise

The night of June 23 is the shortest night of the year. It is believed that this night is magical, that the sorcery and spells come true, and that herbs collected from the meadows acquire special healing powers. Since ancient times, this was a Midsummer night, locally called Rasos feast, when the Lithuanians were singing, dancing and celebrating till dawn.

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THE BIGGEST UPROAR OF ST. JOHN’S

Once upon a time the Balts Lithuanians celebrated the feast of Rasos, made sacrifices to pagan gods, and priestesses incited the altar fire. Only when Christianity came to Lithuania, this festival was identified with St. John name-day and since then was called Joninės (St. John’s). However, although the name has changed, the old festival traditions, spells, and fun still remains the same.

Every year, the shortest night of the year sees no darkness – when the sun hides behind the horizon for just a few hours, the Lithuania is illuminated by the flames of bonfires rising high into the skies. According to the old traditions and customs the Midsummer Festival is celebrated in every village or town, and the biggest celebrations are going on in Kernavė, on Rambynas hill, or in Jonava, which is often referred to as the Lithuanian capital city of all Jonas and Janina (“Johns and Janes”). Here, crowds of people adorned with wild flower wreaths and linen clothes come for celebration, songs and fun continues till dawn, everyone is trying to find a flower of fern, and  dancing without sparing their feet or shoes.

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 FIND A FLOWER OF FERN AND BECOME A VISIONARY

The biggest miracle of the midsummer night is a fern that blooms at midnight. It is believed that the lucky one who finds a bloom of fern, can become a clairvoyant and can hear other people’s thoughts, know all secrets, and understand the language of birds. These skills bring wealth and happiness.

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Detailed list of events in Kaunas will be provided  closer to the Conference.