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!
Kaunas would lose half of its spring charm and jazz lovers would lose the entire season if Kaunas Jazz, the traditional international jazz festival, suddenly didn’t take place. But that hasn’t happened in nearly three decades, and fans of good jazz flood into Kaunas to listen to their favourite music. Jazz takes over the city streets as the festival brings together world-renowned jazz stars and critics. Lithuania’s best jazz musicians take the stage, as do our young performers, for whom this is a great chance to get their feet wet in the waters of global jazz. Anyone who has ever been here will talk about the extraordinary atmosphere of the festival for a long time to come.
.Inspired by the nature awakening in spring, people also came out of the homes and hold one of the largest and most beautiful fairs – Saint Casimir's Fair (Kaziuko muge). The three-day event held in major cities of Lithuania turns their central squares into a colourful feast of verba (Palm Sunday flowers), adorn with pot paintings and wood carvings, and flavours of delicious bagels. The fair is filled with songs, dances, voices and echoes with good emotions and contagious laugh – check out the festival at the end of winter and celebrate together.