Vilnius and Kaunas light up Christmas trees

Lithuania’s largest cities light up their Christmas trees

Vilnius’ 27m mirror creation is inspired by snowflakes, while Kaunas’ evergreen is decorated with 600 butterflies

Repeatedly rated among the most beautiful in Europe and the world, Vilnius’ main Christmas tree, located in Cathedral Square, was officially lit on Saturday evening. The ceremony featuring the musical story of the tree lighting, was conducted remotely due to the Covid-19 situation and was broadcast live on and LRT TV. Many residents, however, ignored the call to avoid attending in person.

96 giant snowflakes

The 27-meter conical-shaped facility is covered in 96 giant snowflakes, mirrored ice and a shroud of glowing lights, and is crowned with a huge star 6m in diameter shining at the top. Dominykas Koncevičius, the tree designer, says he was inspired by the fascinating geometry and variety of snowflakes.

With the click of a button in the Museum of Energy and Technology (Vilnius’ former first power plant), Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius let the tree burst with light. “The bright Christmas tree on Cathedral Square is the brightest sign of the return of Christmas to Vilnius. A little quieter because safer, but as always – full of varied holiday entertainment. May the last month of the year be guided by the symbols encoded in the Christmas tree – with wise choices, protection of oneself and others, health and the atmosphere befitting the most beautiful holiday of the year », said the mayor, quoted by the city’s website.

The six-week festival “Christmas in the Capital” will include a Christmas village (virtual and physical) around the Christmas tree in the cathedral square, 3D projections on the cathedral based on Dickens’ tale “Christmas Carol”, an ice rink near the white bridge, a Christmas course around of the city “Taste Christmas Vilnius” and a Christmas race.

A whiff of summer

Unlike the Vilnius Christmas tree, the Kaunas Christmas tree is decorated with 600 butterflies. Artist Jolanta Šmidtienė explained that while designing the tree, she was haunted by an image of herself lying on a meadow in summer and gazing at the sky with butterflies passing overhead.

Kaunas which will soon take the title of European Capital of Culture 2022, kicked off the Advent season yesterday with a Christmas tree lighting ceremony and concert. Again, the event was held online and attendance was limited to around 500 people: children with disabilities and their guardians who would otherwise have little opportunity to see the wonder tree.

Comments are closed.