Vilnius calls Lithuania to celebrate the 16th of February

Vilnius invites to special events to celebrate the Statehood on the 16th of February: new and traditional events to celebrate the restoration of the State of Lithuania will be held in main squares and streets of the capital.

In addition to the traditional events valued by all, the visitors will be invited to the Great Yard of Vilnius University for an improvised open lesson “To celebrate Lithuania”, and in the evening the luminous performance of drones will be presented above the Gediminas Tower. One of the surprises and innovations of the feast will be an interactive discussion by the monument to Dr. Jonas Basanavicius.

“I invite all to celebrate the Freedom in Vilnius together with children and grandparents, without any distinction between “us” and “them”, and to remember the aim named by the Council of Lithuania in the Declaration of Independence – to create “an independent, democracy-based state of Lithuania”, – that is the invitation of Vilnius Mayor, Mr. Remigijus Simasius.

The events will be also available on the large screen in the Cathedral Square.

The memory of the signatories of the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918 and the Declaration of the Council of the Movement of Struggle for Freedom of Lithuania of 16 February 1949 will be honoured traditionally in Rasos Cemetery at 9 am.

After the pause of one year, thousands of schoolchildren will gather again for the solemn walk of young people “On the route of the State of Lithuania” – young people from entire Lithuania will visit 16 places important for the Lithuanian history going from the Cathedral Square up to Rasos Cemetery. They will start moving from the Cathedral Square at 10 am and stop by the House of Signatories on Pilies street, where the Act of Independence was signed by the members of the Council of Lithuania on 16 February 1918. The next stop will be by the monument to Dr. Jonas Basanavicius close to the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society located at 5, Ausros Vartu str., where the Great Seimas of Vilnius convened on the initiative of J. Basanavicius was meeting in 1905 in the former House of City Hall and where it demanded for independence to Lithuania. The memory of the signatories of the Act of the 16th of February, J. Basanavicius, Mykolas Birziska and Jonas Vileisis, as well as memory of volunteers who died for the freedom of their Homeland will be honoured in Rasos Cemetery. It is a special tradition of the community of the Lithuanian schools that was initiated in 2016 by the Assembly of the Specialists in Lithuanian Philology and the Lithuanian Association of History Teachers.

Photo by S. Žiūra

At 11:30 am, the interactive discussion about significance of the 16th of February in present Lithuania will be started on J. Basanaviciaus Square. Vilnius residents and guests are welcome to watch it and to ask questions to the participants and to take part in the survey in the interactive platform. The House of Signatories, the Great Yard of Vilnius University, the square of Konstantinas Sirvydas, and Jonas Basanavicius Square will be full of conversations and music from 11:30 am until 1:50 pm. Besides, an open lesson about Lithuania and its independence will be given, and the people will be free to celebrate and rejoice.

The festive lesson “To celebrate Lithuania” intended for the 16th of February will start at 1 pm in the Great Yard of Vilnius University. The debate duel of the well-known Lithuanian historians will take place, the music will be performed, and the video greetings to Lithuania by well-known Lithuanian and world people will be played.

At noon, the ceremony of flag raising of three Baltic States (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) will be traditionally held on the Square of Simonas Daukantas, by the Presidential Palace of the Republic of Lithuania. The President of the Republic of Lithuania will also say his speech here.

The Capital’s Dance Theatre (11, T. Kosciuskos str.) invites to a three-part concert “Yellow Green Red” at 12 pm, 3 pm and 6 pm. The best 13 folk art bands of Vilnius Cities will give their performances (entrance only with invitations).

The Holy Mass will be held in the Cathedral Basilica of St Stanislaus and St Ladislaus of Vilnius at 12:30 pm to commemorate the Day of Restoration of the Lithuanian Independence.

The commemoration event of the 16th of February, the Balcony of Signatories, will be held in Vilnius House of Signatories at 2 pm (26 Pilies str.).

Sixteen symbolic bonfires of the 16th of February will be inflamed again at 6 pm on Gedimino Avenue in Vilnius (from the Cathedral up to the Square of Vincas Kudirka).

The drones will rise above the Gediminas Tower at 6:30 pm – it is an exclusive greeting on the 16th of February created with the help of modern technologies. The event will be visible from the Cathedral Square and its approaches (the performance may be cancelled because of bad weather conditions).

The gala concert Endless Flight dedicated to the Day of Restoration of the State of Lithuania will be held in the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society at 7 pm (entrance only with tickets).

The hill of Three Crosses and the main bridges over the Neris will be lit in the Tricolour in the evening.
The persons attending the festive events are invited to keep safe distances and to wear respirators or medical face masks.

Let us all celebrate Lithuania in Vilnius!

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Photo by S. Žiūra