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.
It’s not you we want to scare off. We’re scaring off winter. For many years, we have been driving it away in February, shouting: “Winter, winter, get out of the yard!” Of course, winter doesn’t always surrender, holding out against the people in fancy dress who have gorged on pancakes and the children that go from door to door, asking for treats. Užgavėnės is a traditional celebration that is in our blood and lets adults feel like children again. Who will recognise you behind a mask? You can celebrate Užgavėnės in Rumšiškės – the traditions here never change. If you’re in Samogitia, stop by Lake Plateliai, where you’ll also find some winter fun. Come and burn your misery along with Morė, the symbol of evil and all misfortune.