THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA
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Vilnius last weekend of August:
Lithuania's 300-year-old market, Kaziukas Fair, is probably the world’s best and most interesting outdoor market since the early 1700s! This market takes normally place the first weekend in March each year. But also during the rest of the year Vilnius Old Town is an attractive shopper's paradise, with prices people from the west could only dream about...
We went there today, and who didn’t we meet!
I wanted to find out how genuine the Kaziukas Fair really is, so I went there today with my 13-year old Norwegian-Lithuanian daughter Cassandra (13) who speaks Lithuanian fluently. We met some fantastic people that we now will introduce you to:
IRENA FROM PALANGA
Irena has been running more than 300 kilometres with her van, from the seaside town of
Palanga to Vilnius, to offer smoked fish to the market visitors.
JUSTINA AND PAULIUS FROM VILNIUS
This pair produces wooden toys from their workshop in Vilnius. Genuine, made of real wood! Plastic? What‘s that?
ONUTĖ FROM PRIENAI
Cakes, pies, cakes ... Onutė and her family bakes all year. Throughout the year they are very much excited about the fact that in March every year they will go to Vilnius to introduce their last year's pastries...
ZOFETA FROM VILNIUS
Zofeta has Polish background. So even if it is an old Lithuanian custom to make verbas (Palm Sunday flowers) from the twigs of certain trees and bushes, I think it’s fair to say that this is more of a Polish tradition. The custom has been passed down from ancient times, when people believed in the magic power of some plants to revive the earth after winter to give people health, and to protect them from disasters. Later this custom as reinterpreted and came to signify Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, as described in the Gospel. In any case, here she is, Zofeta, at the Kaziukas Fair 2011!
BEATA AND EGLĖ FROM VILNIUS
These two beautiful girls are doing their very best to feed the visitors to the market.
AUŠRA FROM MARIJAMPOLĖ
Ausra and her Marijampolė family are using very much of the year to make baskets of all kinds. And here she is, ready to convince YOU to buy at least one of her creations. How could you resist?
JONAS FROM VILNIUS
Jonas is a character of his own. He works with the ‘Lithuanian Folk Artist’s Society’, all year around carving, preparing wood sculptures, music instruments, toys and more....
AUDRIUS FROM SKUODO REGION
Never heard about Mosėdis? The village where Audrius lives, mostly in his blacksmith cottage, producing art and very useful tools for people who come to visit the Kaziukas Fair every year. Hey, Mosėdis is a unique place on Earth, not far away from Klaipeda, well known for its very special stone collection. The village’s museum and impressive outdoor stone collection were initiated by a person with the name Vaclovas Intas and have since expanded all over the town. The town also features a baroque catholic church of 18th century, and Audrius is a famous son of his hometown!!
Vilnius became a shopper's paradise during the last decade when plenty of massive shopping malls were opened all over the city. There are three large American-style shopping malls here; Akropolis, Panorama andOzas. Akropolis is famous for its enormous number of shops, restaurants, coffee corners, plus its bowling and cinema facilities. You can also ice-skate or watch professional ice-hockey. Ozas is the newest mall, next to the aqua park Vichy Vanderparkas. There are also several smaller shopping centres, like Europaclose to the city centre. Kaunas is also a city of shopping malls in the city outskirts. The main ones areAkropolis, Mega, Molas, Savas, HyperMaxima, and Urmas. Klaipeda is a major shopping centre for people from the western part of the country, as well as for visitors from Latvia and Kaliningrad. The main shoppingmalls here are Akropolis, Arena, Studlendas and BIG. Many people arriving to the city on cruise ships also do their shopping in Klaipeda. Prices are good and the selection of goods truly wide...
The many antique shops in Vilnius Old Town are the places to snoop around for decadent antiques. Many of them are as much galleries as shops. Browse opulent silverware, inlaid walnut furniture, pottery, elaborate hand-blown glass and gilt-framed religious paintings. One of the better ones is Vilniaus Antikvaro Centras on Dominikonų Street, which is a ﬂoor-to-ceiling treasure trove. The ground ﬂoor features jewellery, paintings and furniture, although you should make sure to ask the staff to take you down into the cavernous, brightly lit cellar where antiques have been grouped into sections by theme – Socialist Realism, Lithuanian folk art, etchings, Tsarist-era collectibles, Orthodox icons, and so forth.
Traditional Lithuanian handicrafts, such as artistic linen, ceramic or amber articles, can make beautiful decorations for your home or great gifts. Many tend to think that amber and linen products are just souvenirs, but here in Lithuania you will find these two materials used also in very exclusive jewellery, fashionable outfits and much more. There are linen and amber shops at all tourist routes and shopping malls, but probably the best time for such shopping is in the beginning of March, when the traditional Kaziukas fair is held in Vilnius. The fair is also famous for its verbos traditional ornately beautiful Palm Sunday arrangements of dried plants.
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