December is a magical month in Lithuania. Every winter the residents go on a festive mission to surprise the whole world with unique, creative, innovative, and novel Christmas decorations. While local cities compete for the most ostentatious, embellished, and neoteric Christmas trees, global visitors get the opportunity to admire these imaginative and aesthetically pleasing creations. This year, the decorations are even more out in left-field to make up for the mass canceled events.
When it comes to Christmas decorations, communities in Lithuanian have put on their creative caps and have envisioned and brought to fruition some artistically enthusiastic designs. The country’s capital, Vilnius, has maintained the pomp and pride of creating the most stunning Christmas trees in Europe. However, the achievement that got them into the Guinness World Records was creating the world’s largest Christmas tree built solely out of 40,000 recycled bottles. But this year’s creativity and displays have a different flavor and tone due to Covid health restrictions. All health and safety precautions are being heeded so festivities such as secret Christmas tree lighting to lighting events broadcasted solely on TV are safe for all.
While residents cannot partake first-hand in these events, Covid has not dampened their festive spirits or creative genius. Instead, this down-time allows for some reflective opportunities. Until it is safe to venture out and interact, the public can experience and enjoy present festive displays while reminiscing about past ones realized by Lithuanians.
Surrealist & Eco-Friendly Christmas
Each year, the unparalleled battle between Lithuanian cities and communities to create the most impressive Christmas tree decorations has the bar raised to unsurpassed heights. What do you get when you combine surrealism with an eco-friendly influence? An alluring, artistic tree that has been touted as one of the most beautiful in Europe. And to defy natural resources, the electricity generated to power this beauty up was produced from processed coffee grounds.
If you’ve had the pleasure and festive joy of visiting Lithuania during previous holiday seasons, you no doubt were impressed by the Vilnius chess queen Christmas tree. The 15th century Bernardine Gardens located in the heart of Vilnius has recycled some of the chess decorations and incorporated them into this year’s mysterious Christmas garden look.
Merry Digital Christmas 2020
With the goal of making the holidays safe, many have turned to a digital solution to express their creativity. A popular Spa resort in Lithuania, Druskininkai, has embraced a digital theme with laser-illuminated Christmas trees.
One of Lithuania’s largest manors, Pakruojis Manor, has transformed its vast courtyards into the magical world of “Alice in Wonderland.” With gleaming lanterns, illuminated sculptures, and original artwork, the whole area is an explosion of festive lights.
Despite the many setbacks due to Covid, it hasn’t stopped a plethora of out-of-the-box Christmas solutions to manifest. Lithuanian take pride in their spirit of uniqueness as they conjure new ideas and amazing decorations that outshines the previous year.
Aquatic Christmas anyone? For the last two years, the port town Klaipėda has celebrated Christmas underwater. They submerged a fully-decorated Christmas tree in the city’s main 9m pool. You can see Santa Claus sitting in an armchair with a gift bag filled with real presents.
Other cities created Christmas trees out of some household items. Last year, the city of Panevėžys displayed a tree composed entirely of 2020 wool socks to cheer in the new year.
Although each city has a unique flavor to its holiday decorations, collectively they share a unified approach towards Christmas. And that is to highlight natural elements that make each town distinct and beautiful. The “Real is Beautiful” trademark of Lithuania Travel reflects how they infuse the elements of water or wood to create amazing festive ornaments.
Since we are unable to gather and admire all the beautiful festive decorations, we have to take comfort and delight in the many virtual events and photographs that countries globally have taken pride in sharing.