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All Saints' Day (in the Catholic Church officially the Solemnity of All Saints and also called All Hallows or Hallowmas), often shortened to All Saints, is a solemnity celebrated on 1 November in Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity, in honour of all the saints, known and unknown.
In terms of Western Christian theology, the day commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in Heaven. In the Roman Catholic Church, the next day, All Souls' Day , specifically commemorates the departed faithful who have not yet been purified and reached heaven. It is a national holiday in many historically Catholic countries.
In Poland, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Croatia, Austria, Romania, Moldova, Hungary and Catholic parts of Germany, the tradition is to light candles and visit the graves of deceased relatives.
Mother’s day is the perfect occasion to let your mother know how much you love her. Mother’s unconditional love, support, and sense of sacrifice make her a being of reverence. Mother’s day is the day to celebrate motherhood and thank your mother for all small and big things she has done for you. However, did you know that mother’s day celebration has been celebrated from ages? It is believed that ancient Greeks celebrated mother’s day in spring by honoring Rhea, ‘mother of the gods’ by offering honey-cakes, flowers and drinks. Mother’s day is the day to acknowledge her mother’s unconditional love, support, and the efforts in raising her kid. This day is celebrated across the globe though on different dates. Similarly, celebrations also vary from country to country. It’s interesting to know how different culture and traditions capture the spirit of this special day.
Lithuanians celebrate mother’s day on the first Sunday in the month of May. Traditionally, a Lithuanian mother is honored with a cake, which resembles a bouquet of flowers. This is followed by a traditional family dinner.
International Workers' Day (a name used interchangeably with may day) is a celebration of the social and economic achievements of the international labor movement. May Day commonly sees organized street demonstrations and street marches by millions of working people and their labor unions throughout most of the countries of the world — though, as noted below, rarely in the United States and Canada.
International Workers' Day is the commemoration of the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago in 1886, when Chicago police fired on workers during a general strike for the eight hour day, killing several demonstrators and resulting in the deaths of several police officers, largely from friendly fire. In 1889, the first congress of the Secound International, meeting in Paris for the centennial of the French Revolution and theExposition Universelle, following a proposal by Raymond Lavigne, called for international demonstrations on the 1890 anniversary of the Chicago protests. These were so successful that May Day was formally recognized as an annual event at the International's second congress in 1891. The May Day Riots of 1894 and may Day Riots of 1919 occurred subsequently. In 1904, the International Socialist Conference meeting in Amsterdam called on "all Social Democratic Party organizations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on May First for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace." As the most effective way of demonstrating was by striking, the congress made it "mandatory upon the proletarian organizations of all countries to stop work on May 1, wherever it is possible without injury to the workers."
Through all this turmoil in the northern hemisphere, the Stonemasons Society in the then colony of Victoria, now the State of Victoria in Australia led the battle for the '8 Hour Day', the most dramatic achievement of the early trade Union Movement. By 1856, Australian workers were benefiting from the results of a decision by the Collingwood Branch of the Stonemasons Society of Victoria. The same year it was recognized in New South Wales, followed by Queensland in 1858 and South Australia in 1873. A memorial statue with the numerals 888, representing 8 hours of work, 8 hours of recreation, and 8 hours of rest, sits on the corner of Lygon Street and Victoria Parade in Melbourne, Australia to this day.
May Day has long been a focal point for demonstrations by various socialist, communist, and anarchist groups. In some circles, bonfires are lit in commemoration of the Haymarket martyrs, usually right as the first day of May begins. It has also seen right-wing massacres of participants as in the Taksim Square massacre of 1977 in Turkey.
Due to its status as a celebration of the efforts of workers and the socialist movement, May Day is an important official holiday in Communist countries such as the People's Republic of China, Cuba, and the former Soviet Union. May Day celebrations typically feature elaborate popular and military parades in these countries.
"Eastern-bloc" countries such as the USSR and most countries of Central and Eastern Europe that were under the rule of Communist governments held May Day celebrations in every town and city, during which leaders greeted the crowds. Workers carried banners with political slogans and many companies decorated their company cars to display during the parade. The biggest celebration of May 1 usually occurred in the capital of a particular communist country and usually included a military display and the presence of the president and the secretary general of the Party. In Poland, since 1982 party leaders led the official parades. See also subsection Russia.
The superstition says how you will meet New Year in such and they will be. In all cities the residents have many opportunities to choose how to accept New Year, that they would be truly significant.
Opera? Concert? Party? A quiet evening with a glass of wine? Or maybe the fashion show and dance until the morning in the club?
According to the researchers, New Year in Lithuania was celebrated from old times, but not so universally. Like before any other holiday, lithuanians till the New Years eve are trying to finish all essential works, reconciliation with family members. For celebrations they were producing similar food like for Christmas eve, just the food was not meager. Everyone, whether young or old, was trying to spend a fun evening, to chat with family, relatives. Have been observed eating by the old Lithuanian traditions, not to take a lot of alcohol, especially women and girls.
In New Year's eve till the midnight, people was not going to bed, await for a new year first day's coming. People were convinced that if you will oversleep such an important time, year-out of luck: you will be sleepy, sloth. New Year's morning, people used to wake up early, because otherwise the whole year the sloth will be your guest. Meanwhile, these days the first of January, after noisy celebrations of New Year, everybody is trying to stay in bed till midday.
Holidays mood was supported by a pleasant conversations, playing, the guessing of fortune. In their goal - to find out what will happen in new years, will a girl and a guy gets married, who will be her elect, or the guy will find a diligent girl, beautiful and rich. The most is guessing from a variety of characters: the shadows, and the odd pair of sticks, matches, peas, sweet. Seniors for the New Year's day and night was trying to find out whether the year will be good, if the weather will be favorable for harvest, or illness will not be interfering.
Games with Easter eggs, singing and dancing, that's what Easter fun outdoors is about in the city's squares and courtyards.
The word for Easter, Velykos, has been borrowed from Beylorussian and means "important day." The word is very accurate because Easter was the year's most solem feast in Lithuania. Easter is not only the feast of Christ's Resurrection, but also nature's awakening from 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 wanted to grow quickly were reminded of this.
As the sun rises on Easter morning, it "dances" swaying from side to side and changing color: 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.
Everyone went to the Resurrection services. If on the way you passed a woman, you'll have an accident. To avoid calamity it was necessary to turn around, return home and then take another road to church.
In Lithuania the Easter morning procession was usually conducted around the church. It was very solemn: church flags were held high, girls strewed flowers, the choir and all the people sang, alternating with a brass band, and the church bells pealed loudly. Three turns were made while singing the Lithuanians' favorite Easter Hymn Linksma diena mums prašvito (A Happy Day Has Dawned for Us). After the services, a blessing was made over the Easter food which was arranged in baskets decorated with greens and placed on the altar-rails.
At the conclusion of the liturgy in church, the people hurried home. In fact, all large and small roads, every path was the scene of races: whoever arrived home first would be successful all year and would complete all work on time. Even persons walking tried to pass those ahead and reach home first. It is not surprising that accidents happened during such races. Perhaps that is why it was said that a woman met on the road brings disaster (someone had to be blamed!).
At home, Easter breakfast was eaten. The meal began when the homemaker peeled a blest Easter egg, cut it and gave a piece to every member of the family. This was done so that peace and love would always reign within the family and everyone would live in harmony. Afterward, a variety of other dishes was consumed: meat, sausages, cakes. On Easter it was necessary to eat well and to satiety, to "recover from Lent" because of the fast all through Lent. If the area had poor families with no Easter food, their neighbors shared what they had and brought the disadvantaged families everything they need to be satisfied and happy.
Children hunted for hidden Easter eggs left them by the Velykų Senelė (Easter Granny) or Velykė. Bunnies who painted Easter eggs were also a familiar fixture, but they were only helpers for the Velykų Senelė. Very early Easter morning they loaded Easter eggs into a beautiful little cart pulled by a tiny swift horse. The Velykų Senelė used a sunbeam as a whip. Sometimes the bunnies themselves pulled the cart laden with Easter eggs.
The Easter Granny travels around the country, stopping in every child's yard to leave eggs in baskets placed or hung for that purpose. When they awake, good children find beautifully decorated Easter eggs (and in. more recent times even sweets). Bad children only find a single plain completely white egg. If this happens, the child is disgraced. His friends and family laugh at him. Sometimes bunnies accompany the Granny and help her distribute the Easter eggs. They are kept busy not only before Easter and on Easter day, but all year round baking cookies for children. When parents leave their children behind, they promise to bring them a gift, bunny cookies. Upon their return, they tell the following tale:
"I'm walking through the woods (or orchard or past the bushes) and I see a bunny wearing an apron and hat, his sleeves rolled back, taking sweet-smelling cookies from an oven. I say to him: 'May the Lord help you!' He answers, 'Thank you, thank you. Would you like a taste? They're still hot.' Of course, I dol They smell so good, they look so good. . ."
In the meantime the-child can hardly control himself: "What kind of oven was it?" "Tiny, pretty." "Did you get to taste any cookies?" "Yes, of course." "Did you bring me any?"
At this point, the father, mother or other family member pulls out the goodies and distributes them to the children who are extremely impressed not only by the bunny cookies but also by the baking method itself. They can practically see the flushed, rushing bunny mixing the dough and stoking the oven. How wonderful that morn or dad just happened to be passing at the very time the cookies were done!
Bunny cookies are famous throughout Lithuania. It would be good to remember them outside Lithuania as well.
A variety of games were played with Easter eggs. The simplest is an egg-breaking contest. Two players face off, each holding an Easter egg and hit each other's egg. The one whose egg remains intact is the winner. The egg is held in the fist so that only its tip protrudes. The other player hits it with the tip of his egg. If the egg breaks on the side, the impact was wrong and the owner of the broken egg is not considered the loser. The winner claims the broken egg. After the game the number of eggs won was tallied. It was of paramount importance to have a hard-shelled egg that withstands breaking. In selecting a strong egg, the contestant taps an unboiled egg against his teeth. If the sound is clear and sharp the shell is hard: if dull and muffled, the egg will break quickly, it's not even worth coloring.
Some smart alecks devised an "unbreakable" egg. It was made this way: a raw egg's shell is pricked at both ends. A thin straw is inserted into one end and used to blow out the contents through the opposite end. Another straw with one end shaped as a funnel is then placed into the hole and melted pine or fir sap is poured until the egg is full. If the sap does not flow smoothly, a helper inserts a straw into the opposite hole and draws the air out of the egg. After the egg is filled with sap, the holes are carefully concealed and the egg is then tinted along with others. It weighs about the same as a real boiled egg. Sometimes the empty shell was filled with melted sugar, but it was much heavier and the sugar hardened unevenly making it more difficult to play. Of course, if caught, the cheat was punished. The direst penalty was to eat the "Easter egg."
Another amusing Easter game was egg rolling. This was best done outdoors, but also could be played in a larger room. A trough is made from pieces of wood or bark to measure about 10 cm long and 15 cm wide (it can also be much longer). One end of the ramp is propped up to produce a downward incline, but not too steep. A small circle is drawn at the bottom of the slope for the playing field into which the eggs will roll. When the game is played outdoors, the trough must be placed on a smooth surface because the eggs will not roll in the circle if there are pebbles, high grass, etc. When played indoors, the surface of the circle must not be too slippery for the eggs will roll out. A low wall or enclosure may be built around the circle. When all the preparations are completed, the players begin the contest. Four to eight persons play. Each uses an egg of a different color to tell them apart. Eggs may also be marked in different ways. The egg is let down the incline. After one contestant finishes, the next rolls his egg aiming to reach the other's egg and tap it. If the egg hits the first one, its owner wins and takes the first egg. The eggs are rolled down the slope in turn. A contestant who wins an egg rolls out of turn until his egg fails to hit another. Another player then takes his egg from the circle and rolls it.
Eggs used in the rolling contest may already be cracked (for instance, already used and won in an egg-breaking contest), but their sides should be intact because eggs with cracked sides do not roll well. The trough may be straight or curved in different ways to make the eggs roll longer. The slope may also be made of cardboard from an old box, plastic or any other material strong and rigid enough to support the weight of an egg.
A simpler egg-roll is done without a trough. A circle at least one meter in diameter is traced on a smooth surface. Barriers or enclosures are placed around the circle to keep the eggs from rolling out (crumpled newspaper may be used). A gate is kept open on one side through which the players push their eggs. The first player is chosen by lot. He rolls his egg into the circle. The second player attempts to roll his egg so that it will tap the first one. The game is played like the one using an incline, but in this case the eggs are rolled into the circle by hand with the player kneeling or sitting on the ground. Because the egg does not roll down a ramp, the entire game depends on the contestant's skill, how he rolls his egg into the circle. If the egg is rolled so hard that it leaves the playing field, the contestant loses his turn.
In the past, only young men and adolescents played egg-rolling contests. It was not proper for girls to do so. They provided their beaus with eggs, cheered the contestants on and guarded the eggs won. Today mostly children (boys and girls) roll eggs.
If guests arrive on Easter, they are given Easter eggs as gifts. The guests also bring an Easter egg for each family member (or at least the hosts and sweets for the children). Easter morning children go "egg begging" but only to the homes of acquaintances, close neighbors or godparents. When they arrive, they say hello and stand silent at the door. It is quite obvious to everyone that an Easter egg is required. The children politely say thank you, wish a Happy Easter and continue on. When Easter was celebrated for three days, no one went visiting the first day, it was unacceptable to intrude upon people on such a holy day as if someone had thrown you out of your own home.
The first day of Easter was said to be dedicated to God, people were expected to conduct themselves seriously and quietly, spend time with their family, eat well and "recover from Lent." The second day was for recreation, visiting friends and having company. The third day was devoted to relaxation. People slept late, recovered from all the merrimaking because work was waiting in the wings.
For Easter, homemakers set out Easter dishes which remained on the table all day. When guests arrived, the women could then spend time with the company and did not need to work. The table was covered with a white cloth and decorated with greens or fruit tree branches (mostly cherry) which were cut and set in water several weeks earlier so they would bloom for Easter. (Easter lilies were unknown.) Greens were also attached to the tablecloth hem which hung down from the table. The table was laden with cold Easter dishes: baked ham, goose, suckling pig, a basket or plate full of Easter eggs, sweet cheese, bread, cakes, etc. Beer (mostly homemade), liqueurs and cider were served as beverages.
Everyone who arrives to extend Easter greetings must be served. It was considered very impolite for the guest to refuse refreshment. Everything had to be at least sampled and the cook praised, else she would feel insulted.
The young who behaved with such solemnity all during Lent wanted to have fun on Easter. They assembled at a larger house to sing and dance. This usually was done in late afternoon or evening. During the day, it was popular to swing in swings and sing. If the Easter weather was warm and fair, the swings were hung from a tall tree so the young could swing higher. Given inclement weather, the swing ropes were tied from barn rafters. People swung not only for the fun of it but to ensure a good harvest next summer, just as on Shrove Tuesday. While swinging, the girls and young men sang special songs.
A group of young men assembled to practice singing Linksma diena mums prašvito (a popular Easter hymn), some other songs and make the rounds. These are the so-called lalauninkai (from lalauti — to talk loudly and much). In many other countries, such as the United States or England, carolers make the rounds before Christmas singing Christmas carols and songs. They may be compared to Lithuania's Easter lalauninkai.
These singers are usually unmarried men sometimes accompanied by a fiddler or harmonica-player. Upon arriving at a house, they first sing an Easter hymn, convey their Easter wishes and then carol. The homemaker gives them cake, sausages, Easter eggs while her husband serves liquid refreshments. The Easter eggs are handed out by the young girls of the household. Although most homes were visited, it was predominantly those with unmarried girls. They were told before Easter that the singers would arrive and tried to make beautiful Easter eggs. This was a perfect opportunity to display their talents and show off before the other village girls. It sometimes happened that the singers refused to accept an Easter egg judged to have a poor appearance and this was considered a major disgrace.
Palm Sunday is a Cristian moveable feast which always falls on the Sunday before Easter Sunday.
In many Christian churches, Palm Sunday is marked by the distribution of palm leaves (often tied into crosses) to the assembled worshipers. The difficulty of procuring palms for that day's ceremonies in unfavorable climates for palms led to the substitution of boughs of box, yew, willow or other native trees. The Sunday was often designated by the names of these trees, as Yew Sunday or by the general term Branch Sunday.
Here are several interesting beliefs:
1 – he who goes to church on Palm Sunday without a palm in his hands, the devil will shove his tail into the hands.
2 – collecting branches to make palms, select those with many buds. The more buds, the longer will be your life.
3 – if you plant consecrated palms on both river banks, when it is the end of the world and all waters vanish, there will be drinking water where the palms are growing.
4 – one should not comb hair on Palm Sunday, because fleas will grow to the size of the palm, or buds on the branches.
5 – if the palm lasts three years, then when black clouds cover the skies, take the palm and cross the clouds with it.
6 – old palms should be burned and their ashes sprinkled over cabbages, to protect them from worms.
PALMS OF VILNIUS
These decorative, dried plant bouquets had no ritual purpose earlier. However now with the addition of juniper and osier branches they have become Palm Sunday tokens.
Now Vilnius' palm production takes place in fifteen villages of Vilnius region. Painters were among the first to show interest in palms. In 1847 K.Ruseckas painted a young girl with a bunch of palms held in her hands and in 1913 he represented palms in colorful folk art and trade show posters. The origin of Palms of Vilnius has not been determined. It is thought that they could have been ancient Vilnius trade guilds' processional adornments, manufactured mimicking Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. Vilnius' Palms are created using dried wild plants, forest and garden blossoms and other plant parts. About thirty different plants are used, among them are mosses, berry greens, timothy grass, St. John's worth, tansy, yarrow and many others.
The making of palms begins the day after Shrove Tuesday and continues till Palm Sunday. This is a project that involves the entire family, however most often it is women's work. The most popular palms are roller shaped. Now there are wreath and whip shaped, flat and puffed out.
Lighting the Christmas tree and meeting Santa Claus at Cathedral Square. Christmas music events in Vilnius churches. A Christmas celebration in Užupis; a charity action for orphans and children from foster homes and boarding schools; a Christmas contest for the city environment; a theatrival celebration for New Year's Eve, the three Magi's procession and performance at Cathedral square.
Mindaugas (ca. 1200 – 12 September 1263) was the first known Grand Duke of Lithuania and the only King of Lithuania . Little is known of his origins, early life, or rise to power; he is mentioned in a 1219 treaty as an elder duke, and in 1236 as the leader of all the Lithuanians. The contemporary and modern sources discussing his ascent mention strategic marriages along with banishment or murder of his rivals. He extended his domain into regions southeast of Lithuania proper during the 1230s and 1240s. In 1250 or 1251, during the course of internal power struggles, he was baptised as a Roman Catholic; this action enabled him to establish an alliance with the Livonian Order, a long-standing antagonist of the Lithuanians. During the summer of 1253 he was crowned King of Lithuania, ruling between 300,000 and 400,000 subjects.
Mindaugas and his wife Morta were crowned during the summer of 1253. Bishop Henry Heidenreich of Kulm presided over the ecclesiastical ceremonies and Andreas Stirland conferred the crown. 6 July is now celebrated as Statehood Day (Lithuanian: Valstybės diena); it is an official holiday in modern Lithuania The exact date of the coronation is not known; the scholarship of historian Edvardas Gudavičius , who promulgated this precise date, is sometimes challenged. The location of the coronation also remains unknown.
Relative peace and stability prevailed for about eight years. Mindaugas used this opportunity to concentrate on the expansion to the east, and to establish and organize state institutions. He strengthened his influence in Black Ruthenia, in Polatsk, a major center of commerce in the Daugava River basin, and in Pinsk. He also negotiated a peace with Galicia-Volhynia, and married his daughter to Svarn, the son of Daniel of Galicia, who would later become Grand Duke of Lithuania. Lithuanian relationships with western Europe and the Holy See were reinforced. In 1255, Mindaugas received permission from Pope Alexander IV to crown his son as King of Lithuania A noble court, an administrative system, and a diplomatic service were initiated Silver long coins, an index of statehood, were issued. He sponsored the construction of a cathedral in Vilnius, possibly on the site of today's Vilnius Cathedral. The earliest religious texts in the Lithuanian language appeared at this time.
Immediately after his coronation, Mindaugas transferred some lands to the Livonian Order – portions of Samogitia, narduva, Selonia and Dainava — although his control over these western lands was tenuous There has been much discussion among historians as to whether in later years (1255, 1257, and 1259) Mindaugas gave even more lands to the order. The deeds might have been falsified by the order; the case for this scenario is bolstered by the fact that some of the documents mention lands that were not actually under the control of Mindaugas.
Days of Live Archaeology are organised at the foot of Gediminas Hill and in the Old Town where craftsmen demonstrate old crafts, knights can be seen standing in groups, participants listen to old music and are welcomed to the fairs, and concerts of ethnographical bands or other festivities are organised around the city.
FEAST of ST.JOHN – June 24th [ a.k.a. JONINËS]
From ancient times people marked the time of the return of the sun, the shortest and longest night. In olden times it was called the Feast of the DEWS, [ a.k.a. RASOS ]. When Christianity was established in Lithuania, the name was changed to Feast of St. John, according to agrarian folk calendar, the start of haying.
The rituals of the longest day were closely related to agrarian ideas and notions. The main aim was to protect the harvest from natural calamities, evil souls, witches and mid summer visitors like draught, hail, downpours of rain and thunder. The ancients worshipped the great Goddess Lada and God of Thunder, the ruler of thunder and lightning. From May 25th till June 25th men visited taverns while women and girls danced in the fields holding hands, sang and sacrificed white hens.
N.Vëlius wrote that the feast of the "Dews" binds with the feast of God of Thunder honoring the embodiments of all kinds of powers. Men's wrestling, a demonstration of their strength can be linked to the feast of God of Thunder. On the longest day of summer, bread must be baked and eaten before sunrise, saying the following words, " in the name of the sun and thunder, I order you, fever, and chase you away from people".
The sun is the first to be addressed, because at this time of year she is most active and most rites are carried out in her honor. This is a holiday allotted to the Gods of Heaven. The most archaic tradition of this day is tall poles with wheels at their top, set on fire. The wheel symbolized the primitive farmers' attitudes to the sun or her travel cart. This tradition is related to myths about the sun's travels by cart or by boat. The tradition of boating on lakes and rivers in flower and wreath decorated boats, in which a fire was lit, symbolized the floating sun and was widespread throughout Lithuania.
The feast of St. John is connected with summer weddings and their rituals which were bound to affect family living and population increases. Should a pair become friends this night, there will definitely be a wedding.
The night of June 24th is the shortest night of the year, filled with bird sounds and luxuriant vegetation. Darkness substitutes light unnoticeably, night is full of miracles due to fire reflections and shadows. It was believed that activity during this night of supernatural creatures or female witches was ill disposed towards men, animals and plants. To keep animals from their malevolent actions, animals were put in barns before sunset and were fed bread with salt for protection. Mountain ash branches and wheat sprays were hung on door posts for protection against evil spirits
In some regions clogs were placed in front of a mirror. Witches would step into the clogs and run away upset by their frightful image in the mirror.
In Samogitija, "Šatrija" was the most famous witches' hill, where during the night of the Feast of St. John, witches party and rage all night and invent all kinds of enchantings. This is why one could not do without " witches burnings". Young people tied a barrel filled with tar and sawdust to a high pole, sprinkled it with salt so that the witches would crackle. The barrel was set on fire while the young people sang and danced merrily. Next morning the cow herd was driven through the remaining ashes , with the belief that witchings will no longer be harmful.
During the night of the Feast of St. John, the miraculous fern bursts into bloom. It is difficult to catch sight of this bloom, however this difficulty can be overcome by going to the forest the day before, cutting down a mountain ash, pruning the branches and cutting off the top. Then pulling the tree backwards, walk about one hundred steps without looking back, toward the side to which the cut tree fell. Look back after the hundred steps and then you will see the devil sitting stuck in the ash tree. The devil will ask for your help to get off the tree and for your help will tell you where to find the blooming fern. When you locate the blooming fern, ghosts will attack with butting horns whirlwinds will howl and cats will cry. Then take a cane made of mountain ash, draw a circle around you with it, spread a linen cloth and stop being afraid. The fern blossom will fall on the cloth. Some say that the fern bloom is like birch dust, others describe it as round and white like carp's scale.
On 1st January 1919, the Lithuanian tricolour was hoisted on the tower of the Gediminas Castle for the first time. To celebrate this day, a solemn ceremony of replacing the flag is held on Gediminas Hill in Vilnius.
The flag of Lithuania consists of a horizontal tricolor of yellow, green and red. It was adopted on March 20, 1989, almost two years before the reestablishment of Lithuania's independence following the end of the Soviet Union. Before its readoption, the flag had been used from 1918 until 1940 when Lithuania was occupied and then annexed by the Soviet Union. This flag had lighter colors. After a brief occupation by Nazi Germany (1941–1945), from 1945 until 1989, the Soviet Lithuanian flag consisted first of a generic red Soviet Flag with the name of the republic, then changed to the red flag with white and green bars at the bottom. The last alteration to the current flag occurred in 2004 when the aspect ratio changed from 1:2 to 3:5.
The Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania or Act of March 11 (Lithuanian: Aktas dėl Lietuvos nepriklausomos valstybės atstatymo) was an independence declaration by the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic adopted on March 11, 1990. Signed by all members of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, the act emphasized restoration and legal continuity of the interwar Lithuania, which was occupied by the Soviet Union and lost independence in June 1940. It was the first time that a soviet socialist republic declared independence from the collapsing Soviet Union.
On the Re-establishment of the State of Lithuania
The Supreme Council of Republic of Lithuania, expressing the will of the nation, decrees and solemnly proclaims that the execution of the sovereign powers of the State of Lithuania abolished by foreign forces in 1940, is re-established, and henceforth Lithuania is again an independent state.
The Act of Independence of February 16, 1918 of the Council of Lithuania and the Constituent Assembly decree of May 15, 1920 on the re-established democratic State of Lithuania never lost their legal effect and comprise the constitutional foundation of the State of Lithuania.
The territory of Lithuania is whole and indivisible, and the constitution of no other State is valid on it.
The State of Lithuania stresses its adherence to universally recognized principles of international law, recognizes the principle of inviolability of borders as formulated in the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe in Helsinki in 1975, and guarantees human, civil, and ethnic community rights.The Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, expressing sovereign power, by this Act begins to realize the complete sovereignty of the state.
The Act of Independence of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Nepriklausomybės Aktas) or Act of February 16 was signed by the Council of Lithuania on February 16, 1918, proclaiming the restoration of an independent State of Lithuania, governed by democratic principles, with Vilnius as its capital. The Act was signed by all twenty representatives, chaired by Jonas Basanavičius. The Act of February 16 was the end result of a series of resolutions on the issue, including one issued by the Vilnius Conference and the Act of January 8. The path to the Act was long and complex because the German Empire exerted pressure on the Council to form an alliance. The Council had to carefully maneuver between the Germans, whose troops were present in Lithuania, and the demands of the Lithuanian people.
The immediate effects of the announcement of Lithuania's re-establishment of independence were limited. Publication of the Act was prohibited by the German authorities, and the text was distributed and printed illegally. The work of the Council was hindered, and Germans remained in control over Lithuania. The situation changed only when Germany lost World War I in the fall of 1918. In November 1918 the first Cabinet of Lithuania was formed, and the Council of Lithuania gained control over the territory of Lithuania. Independent Lithuania, although it would soon be battling the Wars of Independence, became a reality.
While the Act's original document has been lost, its legacy continues. The laconic Act is the legal basis for the existence of modern Lithuania, both during theinterwas period and since 1990. The Act formulated the basic constitutional principles that were and still are followed by all Constitutions of Lithuania. The Act itself was a key element in the foundation of Lithuania's re-establishment of independence in 1990 Lithuania, breaking away from the Sovie Union, stressed that it was simply re-establishing the independent state that existed between the world wars and that the Act never lost its legal power.
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