Žemaitija is the ethnic region located in the current north-western part of Lithuania .
The town of Telšiai is considered to be the capital and Varniai – the second most important town of Žemaitija region.
The formation of a separate Žemaičiai tribe in the central part of current Žemaitija ended around the 5th century. Žemaitija was first mentioned in Volhynian (Ipat'evskaya) Chronicle in 1219 in the description of the Peace Treaty between Lithuanian and Volhynian Dukes. Of all Lithuanian ethnic groups in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania only Žemaitija enjoyed independent eldership rights that remained valid for almost 400 years. The turn of the 20th century saw the formation of the notion of Žemaitija based on the Žemaičiai dialect and the territory inhabited by them.
The boundaries of today’s Žemaitija region were set pursuant to this notion. Žemaitija people are also said to be stubborn and faithful. Crafts flourished in Žemaitija: carpenters built houses, made furniture and weaving wheels; coopers, clog makers, shoemakers, tailors, weavers, wheelwrights, blacksmiths, and tanners also had things to do. Potter’s craft was popular most of all; the prevalence of this craft and a diversity of articles brought Žemaitija ahead of all other Lithuanian regions. The town of Viekšniai has remained the centre of potters till the present. Crafts were followed by artistic pieces “for the soul”, monuments of small architecture. At the turn of the last century Žemaitija was dotted with wooden roadside shrines built on the ground or in trees as well as pillared shrines, roofed pillars and crosses decorated with polychromic figures of the Saints being the unique works of the region.
The merriest holiday for Žemaitija people is Shrove Tuesday.