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Lithuania’s largest cities light their Christmas trees

Lithuania’s largest cities light their Christmas trees

Vilnius’ 27 m mirror-clad creation has been inspired by snowflakes, while Kaunas’ conifer is decorated with 600 butterflies

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

96 giant snowflakes

The 27-metre conic-shaped installation is covered with 96 giant snowflakes, mirrored ice and a shroud of glowing lights, and is crowned with a huge star, 6 m in diameter, shining at the top. Dominykas Koncevičius, the tree designer, says he drew inspiration from the fascinating geometry and variety of snowflakes.

With a click of a button from the Museum of Energy and Technology (former first Vilnius power plant), Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius let the tree erupt in light. “The bright Christmas tree in the Cathedral Square is the brightest sign that Christmas is returning to Vilnius. Slightly calmer because it is safer, but as always – full of varied holiday entertainment. Let 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 mood which befits the most beautiful feast of the year,” said the Mayor, as quoted by the city website.

The six-week festival "Christmas in the Capital" will include a Christmas village (virtual and physical) around the tree in Cathedral Square, 3D projections on the Cathedral based on Dickens’ tale “Christmas Carol”, a skating rink near the White Bridge, a Christmas route around the city "Taste Christmas Vilnius" and a Christmas run.

A whiff of summer

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

Kaunas which will soon assume the title of European Capital of Culture 2022, kicked-off the Advent season yesterday with a Christmas tree lighting ceremony and a concert. Again, the event unfolded online and attendance was capped at around 500 people: children with disabilities and their guardians who would otherwise have few opportunities to see the wondrous tree.

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