The initiators of the local celebration of Michaelmas were the dukes Oginskis. During the period in which they governed Rietavas, Michaelmas was celebrated for an entire week. The centuries-old traditions of the celebration and fair were brought back to life in 2001 and since then, they have been held in the Rietavas park on the last weekend of September. During Michaelmas, an idiosyncratic celebration for discussing, enjoying and evaluating all the work accomplished in the past year, there are fairs, concerts and an open-air market.
As in the old days, so too today the products in highest demand in the Michaelmas open-air market are dairy products, especially those made by cheesemakers. They not only sell fresh, healthy, organic products made from the milk of locally-raised cows, they are also excellent masters of their craft, able and willing to inform anyone who takes an interest. You can always rely on folk artists, craftspeople and amateur artists to present surprises: at the celebration, you can buy the most varied works of art, taste a variety of homemade dishes, watch presentations of various crafts and participate in games of chance. Thanks to the craftspeople, the annual fair is decorated with folk and stylised clothes, beautiful linen tablecloths, bouquets of wildflowers in a riot of colours, and kindly sellers, who first offer you a sample, and only then suggest you buy. Another interesting accent of Michaelmas is the traditional equestrian event of show jumping and an appearance by horses of the žemaitukas (little Samogitian) breed, a historic Lithuanian horse breed.