Shrovetide

Shrovetide is one of the favourite and funniest festivities in Lithuania. The event has an extremely playful spirit and leaves a lot of space for all kinds of games and self-expression. Shrovetide traditions in Lithuania are related to the ancient customs when the Earth was stimulated to wake up for the new cycle of life (springtime).

People enjoy the Shrovetide event because everyone can do whatever they want to do there: the event has kept the spontaneous and natural character so everyone can join the festivity at any time.

Vilnius Ethnic Culture Centre organizes the Shrovetide events according to the samogitian tradition which has never been interrupted and has survived until nowadays.

The playful event begins at daytime and in the afternoon, everyone gathers together in order to burn the figure of Morė and thus, to shoo away the winter. A variety of different masked figures gathers for this purpose: bears, goats, doctors, witches, devils, etc. An essential part of the event is the fight between Lašininis (the porky) and Kanapinis (the hempen man), who symbolize the winter and the spring. Kanapinis triumphs and now, the spring may come at last.

On Shrovetide, people usually eat a lot of greasy food (a traditional dish is various pancakes) because after that, the period of fast begins when it is not allowed eat meat until Easter (which is one of the reasons for Kanapinis to triumph, too).