The Shrovetide (Užgavėnės) carnival

The Shrovetide carnival is a traditional holiday, one of the merriest events in Lithuania. This year it is held on the 24th of February 17.00 on Town Hall Square. Shrovetide was first organized in Vilnius in 1995.

During this festival everybody will have a possibility to find out more about different masks, their meanings and fashions, as well to find out more about Shrovetide traditions for to use those knowledge on a real Shrovetide.

The Shrovetidein Vilnius old townis one of the merriest festivals. The cheerful racket of the outdoor fete of the people who have changed their clothes begins already in the afternoon in the city and by the evening various strange beings in masks gather to send off the ghost Morė and to turn the winter out “from the yard”, i.e., various devils, witches, skeletons, goats, bears, tramps, “Gypsies”, “Jews” and the Flitch fighting with the Hemp.

During this festival a lot of fat and nourishing food and traditional pancakes are eaten symbolizing the primitive sacrifice of bread. Most of the European nations have holidays equivalent to the Shrovetide holiday.

The Shrovetide is celebrated in February or March, seven weeks before the Easter.

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