Magic awaiting in Vilnius, the capital of Christmas
Vilnius, which is titled one of the most magical Christmas cities in Europe, introduced a 5-week winter holiday programme, as impressive and full of miracles and surprises as always. So what magic can residents and guests of the city expect this year in the Christmas capital?
In addition to traditional festivities, this year’s programme also has some news: a huge skating rink will be opened at Lukiškių Square, the Lukiškių fountain so admired by all will be lighted in unusual forms, and an independent alternative Christmas town will be set up in the territory of the Vilnius railway station as from 30 November. Probably the most important idea of this year, which is likely to turn into a tradition, is a stunning view, which we will see on the Bell Tower just before the New Year – a unique visual and light installation, which will end with colourful New Year’s fireworks.
“Winter Fairy Tale Capital is the most appropriate name for Vilnius: our magical Christmas tree attracts the attention of the world’s media; the number of tourists more than doubles in December compared to its annual growth, guests appreciate the very cosily decorated Baroque Old Town, buzzing Christmas fairs and hospitality of Vilnius residents – all this makes us proud of Vilnius and inspires to try to surprise with even greater creativity each year”, – Remigijus Šimašius, the Mayor of Vilnius, said with joy.
The symbol of Christmas of the entire Lithuania – the main Christmas tree of the city in the Cathedral square – will surprise and impress not only Lithuania. The artistic composition of the Christmas tree (27 meters-high and 50 meters-wide) will cover the entire area of the Christmas town. “Let being together at the Christmas tree become special time which we share with each other” – Dominykas Koncevičius, the author of the project and one of creators of the Christmas tree, said invitingly.
In the ceremony of lighting of the main Christmas Tree of the capital of Lithuania, which is to take place on 1 December, at 7 p.m., residents and guests of the city will be able to enjoy the concert of the group SEL, singer Mantas Jankavičius, participants of the music talent contest “X Factor” and talent show “Lithuanian Talents”, Artūras Novikas’ jazz ensemble JAZZ ISLAND and the children and youth group “JIMBA”.
This year, the Christmas tree in the Town Hall Square will be lit up earlier than the main Christmas tree of Vilnius. The playful Christmas tree lighting ceremony in the Town Hall Square will start on 1 December, at 5.00 p.m. Participants in the event will be entertained by Artūras Novikas’ jazz ensemble JAZZ ISLAND and singer Aldegunda.
In the evening of 1 December, we will once again get to see the joyful Christmas train. The Christmas train will greet its little passengers and their parents at a stop in front of the Cathedral Square – in Šventaragio street, next to Odminių Square.
Christmas skating rink in Lukiškių Square, which will be opened on 7 December, is yet another new entertainment. Residents and guests of Vilnius will be able to enjoy skating in the skating rink (20×40 meters) till the very beginning of February – here they will be invited to have fun, play curling or learn skating techniques.
Events in the renovated area of the railway station are planned during the holiday season for the first time. Here an independent alternative Christmas town will be set up and open till 3 January 2019: visitors will be able to enjoy the delightful and surprising street food market, various creative workshops, musician performances and the Christmas fair.
Lithuanian Santa Clauses “Kalėda” from five Lithuanian regions with their escorts will amuse the public and share their secrets at a very joyful celebration called “Welcome, Kalėda!”, which will take place in the Cathedral Square on 9 December.
Just like last year, residents and guests of the capital will be invited to admire lights, shine and originality of festive city showcases, which create the special festive mood, and to select the one they admire the most (for more information about the contest: www.kaledossostineje.lt/konkursas/).
Full of live emotions sports celebration “Eurovaistinė Christmas Run” scheduled to take place on 16 December will invite to exercise and share a good mood. Just like each year, big and small runners in the traditional 43rd Christmas Run will be able to choose a distance of 12, 6 or 3 kilometres, and 200 meters – in the “Dwarf Run”.
The unique Christmas Town – the Design Square – so loved by residents of Vilnius and guests of the city will settle down in Vinco Kudirkos Square on 18-23 December for the third consecutive year. Here Lithuanian designers and artists will be offering very original Christmas gift ideas.
This year, the Christmas 3D fairy tale in the Cathedral Square will invite to remember the “Story of the Birth of Jesus”. The story specially created on the occasion of Christmas according to the Bible motives will stimulate the imagination of viewers and will be played on the wall of the Cathedral four times per evening during the period from the 25th till the 29th of December.
New Year’s celebration in the Cathedral Square is one of the biggest surprises of this year. We will see a stunning view on the Bell Tower just before midnight – a unique video and light installation, which will end in colourful New Year’s fireworks.
During the holiday season, the buzz of Christmas events and activities will also be felt in other communities of the City of Vilnius more distant from the city centre – in Antakalnis, Naujamiestis, Viršuliškės, Vilkpėdė, Balsiai and other places.
The City of Vilnius invites to visit the Winter Fairy Tale Capital Vilnius!
“Christmas in the Capital 2018” events programme – www.kaledossostineje.lt