The unveiling of the Xmas tree at Cathedral Square in Vilnius, Source: Go Vilnius

Vilnius unveiled its Christmas tree…and it’s a birthday cake

Vilnius unveiled its Christmas tree…and it’s a birthday cake

The Lithuanian capital is excited about its upcoming 700th anniversary

The City of Vilnius is frantically preparing for Christmas and its coming 700th birthday party in 2023. This explains why the festival planners decided to go creative this year and shape the main Christmas Tree as a birthday cake, as a way to remind residents and visitors that the party is only beginning.

The lighting installation unveiling, and the official launch of the holiday season, took place this past weekend – the first time it happened live in the past two years. Understandingly, the spirits were high and thousands of spectators joined in the fun at Cathedral Square.

Art, elegance and joy

This tree also being a cake would be incomplete without birthday candles – and, indeed, there are 700 of them placed on the three layers of the installation.

The Christmas tree is the fusion of elegance and wintery esthetic. 25 meters high and 22 meters wide, the tree radiates holiday charm with ten kilometres of garlands and illuminated Baroque-inspired ornaments.

Its shape is a mirror of Vilnius' gastronomic masterpieces: the three white layers are adorned with decorative, brightly lit chandeliers, while the inside hides a golden gem—a tree made of 6,000 fir branches, golden ornaments, glittering garlands, and a blazing topper.

"There's no birthday without a cake, it is a tradition dating back to ancient Roman times. People used to believe that candles symbolized the light of life and their smoke carried people's wishes to the heavens. And the inside of the cake used to hide a surprise—a coin or a ring—which would bring year-long good luck to the one who found it. We hope that Vilnius' birthday cake and the surprise inside it also raise the spirits of the visitors and make their deepest wishes come true," commented Dominykas Koncevičius, the creator of the Christmas tree installation.

Besides the Christmas tree, Vilnius has many winter events lined up for this holiday season. Fairytale-inspired Christmas markets with handmade crafts, delicacies, and last-minute gifts, an ice rink set up in one of the edgiest spots of the city—the yard of a former century-old prison Lukiškės Prison 2.0, the 43rd costume run, and an international charity bazaar, among others.



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