True Lithuania

Kaunas Festivals and Annual Events

Kaunas may have slowly ceded its status to Vilnius but it still hosts numerous national events as it is closest to the geographic center of Lithuania. Kaunas biker festival, operetta festival, and agricultural fair have importance reaching beyond the Lithuanian borders.

Name Date Type Event
MAMA music awards Early Janurary Music awards and concert Best Lithuanian musicians and singers of various genres are elected by a jury. The gala format is joined with a public concert that easily sells out Kaunas arena in what aims to be the prime annual event of Lithuanian music.
Independence day parade February 16th Parade A massive grassroots parade with flags and patriotic chants in downtown Kaunas.
Ką pasėsi agricultural fair The first week of April Fair International showcase of agricultural vehicles and a fair of seeds and plants in Kaunas suburbs. ~20 ha territory also hosts concerts.
Kaunas Jazz End of April–start of May Music (jazz) festival Born together with independent Lithuania in 1990 the festival brings local and foreign jazz musicians (~20 bands annually). Some concerts are free and some even take place in the streets.
Lithuanian Basketball League final series Around April Professional sports Since 1998 the right to contest the champion rings of Lithuania’s major league is always won by “Lietuvos Rytas” of Vilnius and “Žalgiris” of Kaunas teams (pouring fuel into the eternal Vilnius vs. Kaunas rivalry). “Žalgiris” plays its home games in the modern 15 668 seat arena (largest in the Baltics) and it takes 4 victories to triumph.
Bike Show Millennium A weekend in the beginning of June Biker festival One of the largest biker festivals in Europe Bike Show Millenium fills the old Kaunas airport with bike parades, races, stunts, and concerts. Recently it has been expanded to include quads and automobiles.
Pažaislis music festival Entire summer Music (classical) festival While it started as a true music festival at the Pažaislis monastery garden in 1995 today it is a catch-all name for many classical music events taking place all over Kaunas and its suburbs throughout the summer. The concerts in churches are usually free.
Kaunas castle operetta Start of July Music (operetta) festival Eastern Europe’s sole operetta festival is held annually near the Kaunas castle.
Akacijų alėja (Acacia Boulevard) The Saturday closest to July 6th Music (sung poetry) festival A massive sung poetry concert. This genre is a very popular “alternative music” in Lithuania characterized by a single musician, single instrument, no special effects and thought-inspiring lyrics. Taking place in a Kaunas suburb of Kulautuva on Nemunas bank it is free but therefore crowded (~15 000 spectators).
Kaunas cinema festival Late September-Early October Cinema festival Largest cinema festival in Kaunas takes place in Romuva interwar cinema. Various non-Hollywood films and documentaries are presented in the original languages with Lithuanian subs.
Christmas December 25th Christian holiday Recently Kaunas became famous for the artfully inventive Christmas trees in its main Rotušės square.
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