There is always something going on here. Cultural events bring us together: if we’re not singing in the streets, then we’re visiting museums; if our sails aren’t catching the sea breeze, then we’re swimming in a race ourselves. We love good jazz, and we watch the stars at nights with feeling; we dance barefoot by the sea, and we breathe in the theatre and drink in the energy of pulsating events, positive emotions and community.
When the days in Lithuania brighten up and the spring rains wash off winter’s dust, we start getting ready for long evenings out in the fresh air. The stages of the street welcome those who leave the winter halls behind, singing, jazzing and strumming guitars. Art, design, folklore, Lindy hop, sutartinės, hot air balloons, and kids shouting with joy take to the streets. Reverberating with musical instruments and variegated voices, Street Music Day is expanding out of Vilnius – to other parts of Lithuania, Latvia and Ukraine, and with echoes in Georgia, England and Ireland. In Kaunas, the Hanseatic Days foster old traditions and knight fights, the bank of the Nemunas is bedecked with colourful kites, and runners, walkers, cyclists and weightlifters breathe in deeply. It’s impossible to resist the call of spring!
Our summers are short. That’s why we rush to feel them, enjoy them and experience them, and to sing and run our hearts out. We don’t sleep much, drowning ourselves in Culture Night and listening to music in blossoming botanical gardens, old monasteries and industrial regions. During the summertime, events move to the shore – we wave to the ships that have raised their sails and envelope ourselves in the frenzy of the Sea Festival and the rhythm of contemporary music on the beaches. Car and motorcycle racing, running paths in the Lithuania’s green forests, yacht and kiteboard competitions in the Curonian Lagoon, and knight tournaments at hill forts – every weekend in summer is dedicated to making exciting memories. So that we have something to keep us warm in the winter.
When we return to the city from the shore, the lakes, our homesteads, and our tents, all tan and recharged, we dive head first into culture. Our cities reverberate with theatre and good music, and the galleries open their doors wide open to show the fine works that were created during the summer. Autumn is a time for culture, and in autumn, culture goes out into the streets – it is colourful, and it takes your breath away. It opens your eyes and your feelings, and becomes ingrained in your experience, setting the joy of creativity free. Let’s surrender to it with the best events.
Over here, winter always comes unexpectedly. We joke about it, but we actually can’t wait. For the fir branches, drooping from the snow, for the ski trails in the depths of the forest, for the well-trodden running path in the park, for the sledges, ice skates and ice boats, for the ice fishing and the bonfires during the midwinter celebration, and for everything that winter has to offer. When it gets cold, we invite friends to the cinema or to music and fashion festivals. And after surviving it, we shoo winter away as loud as we can. Pancakes and masks help us scare it off and wait for the spring again.