VilNews section 9: LITHUANIA TODAY
Spring in Vilnius!
THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA
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Until recently, Vilnius was often called Europe’s best kept secret. Very few knew that here lies one of the world’s best-preserved cultural treasures, namely Eastern Europe’s largest and most attractive old town. Few knew that Vilnius is considered the world’s most Italian city outside Italy and the world’ most Baroque city north of the Alps. This is now changing rapidly. The world population has become aware of both the city and the country and the number of travelers here is the sharp increase.
Vilnius is the city Lonely Planet colourfully calls “eccentric and soulful,” and one that offers the best overall hotel prices in all of Europe. According to Hotels.com’s Hotel Price Index, Vilnius in Lithuania has an average per-night hotel price of $80, putting accommodations costs within reach of budget travelers. Sweeten the pot with a favorable exchange rate, quirky attractions, and Eastern Europe’s largest old town, and you’ve got an intriguing and affordable destination.
Here are some recent articles:
The cleanest air in Europe
|Lithuania among “The World’s Ten Best Ethical Destinations – 2013”|
|Vilnius is one of Europe’s most affordable cities
The Green Bridge (Lithuanian: Žaliasis tiltas) is a bridge over the Neris River in Vilnius, Lithuania. It is the oldest bridge in the city and connects city centre with the so-called right river bank and the Kalvariju g that leads to several of the city’s Soviet suburbs north of the city centre.
The first bridge is known from 1536. It stood closer to the present-day Mindaugas Bridge. It was a wooden covered bridge with brick and stone piers. It had a second floor with apartments for toll collectors. Because its builder Ulryk Hozjusz wanted to recoup the cost by collecting tolls, Grand Duke Sigismund I granted him a privilege prohibiting others to build any other bridges between Kernavė and Bistrica or to offer other crossing services between Verkiai and Paneriai. The bridge was burned by retreating Lithuanian Army after the Battle of Vilnius (1655).
“Let’s do it” by Cole Porter
From the Show: Paris 1928
Birds do it, bees do it
Even educated fleas do it
Let’s do it, let’s fall in love
In Spain, the best upper sets do it
Lithuanians and Letts do it
Let’s do it, let’s fall in love
By Vin Karnila, Associate Editor
Thinking about Lithuanian Easter traditions transforms me back in time to when I was a young boy growing up in the Boston area of Massachusetts, USA. Being the son of a Scottish mother and Lithuanian father I had the great fortune of experiencing the wonderful traditions of not only the Lithuanian people but that of the Highland Scott‘s as well.
While along with the Lithuanian Christmas traditions we practiced many of the Scottish customs for Christmas and New Year as well but Easter is seemed was a time for the traditions of our Lithuanian ancestors. These were the traditions the Karnila family took with them from our ancestral home in Lithuania, the village of Guronys.
The word for Easter, Velykos, has been borrowed from Byelorussian and means “important day.” The word is very accurate because Easter is the year’s most solemn feast in Lithuania. Easter is not only the feast of Christ’s Resurrection, but also nature’s awakening from the winter’s sleep.
The early Eastern morn, just before dawn, abounds with magical power. Much of this magic is concentrated in flowing water. Bathing in such water before sunrise prevents all boils, sores, rashes and other skin ailments. If it rains on Easter morning, it is necessary to stand bareheaded in the rain to ensure good growth. Small children who want to grow quickly are reminded of this.
As the sun rises on Easter morning, it “dances” swaying from side to side and changing colour: from green to blue, to red and then golden yellow. This phenomenon can be seen by rising before dawn and watching for the sun’s first appearance on the horizon.
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