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The Mayor of Vilnius speaking at the unveiling of the countdown clock, Source: Go Vilnius

Ahead of turning 700, Vilnius starts off long celebrations

Ahead of turning 700, Vilnius starts off long celebrations

The countdown has already begun

Next year, the Lithuanian capital Vilnius will turn 700, but the celebrations have already begun. This started with the unveiling of the official countdown clock, towering 7 metres above the Cathedral Square, on 25 January. It will serve to remind the residents and visitors about the days remaining to the rich and event-studded programme awaiting them in 2023.

The organizers have also made a special website available, which lets people know about every detail that has to do with the big anniversary and the events. So, it is a good idea to check on it regularly as it will be updated in the future. You’ll find out, for example, that is a festival planned for this summer already.

Cultural, art and educational events

The official history of Vilnius began in 1323 when Gediminas, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, mentioned the city for the first time in one of his letters, dated 25 January, to foreign merchants and craftsmen. The 700th anniversary in 2023 will present opportunities to highlight the colorful history of Vilnius, strengthen the ties with the city residents and guests, and boost the global recognition of the capital.

The countdown launch and the 699th anniversary were marked with the Light Festival, and music and opera performance. The Light Festival, which was first held in 2019, goes until 29 January and has proven to be quite popular with the public.

The clock itself was unveiled by Remigijus Šimašius, Mayor of Vilnius, and an exclusive clock guardian—a 4.5-meter-tall light man, during the Light Festival, which also featured hot-air balloons, music and lights show.

"Although Vilnius will be 700 years old, both the city and its residents are the true embodiment of a youthful curiosity, ingenuity, determination, and passion," said mayor Šimašius on the occasion. "2023 will be a special year for Vilnius, therefore we invite everyone from all around the globe to come to our city, join us in celebrations, and experience the magic themselves."

In light of the ongoing global pandemic, all pre-anniversary events, including the 699th -birthday celebrations, are organized according to all safety requirements. The guests and residents of Vilnius are also asked to maintain safe distances and take the necessary safety precautions.

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