Christmas in Lithuania and Georgia
16 January, 2014
Christmas in Lithuania and Georgia
Interview with Jonas Paslauskas, Ambassador of Lithuania to Georgia

Jonas Paslauskas, the Lithuanian Ambassador to Georgia, has been in Georgia for three and a half years. This year he celebrated Christmas and New Year’s in Georgia. We discussed his country’s traditions.
– How is Christmas in Lithuania?
– As a Catholic country, Lithuania has deep and most honored traditions in celebrating religious holidays, Christmas Eve being the most widely celebrated. Since Soviet times, although authorities did not allow even mentioning
the name, most of our families, even those who were supposed to stick to the Soviet ideology, would lay a table on 24 December for the Christmas Eve celebration. I remember that the most complicated thing was to purchase a Christmas tree, because in those days Christmas trees were meant for New Year’s only. The sale would start only on 26 December.
But I believe that most families were like ours, by whom this day was not to be forgotten. Since the Advent we were supposed to fast. That means no animal products, including no milk, meat or eggs. Christmas Eve is the last day of fasting. Traditionally we have to lay a white table cloth, preferably strewn with straw underneath. On that table we would have 12 dishes, all without meat or dairy products, no eggs. In Soviet times it was extremely hard to prepare Christmas Eve, for there was a shortage of food. Here would come fish and herring, all kinds of beet and bean salads, a Lithuanian version of khinkali with blackberries inside, traditional pastries, a drink made of ground poppy seeds (of a type impossible to get here in Georgia), no alcohol, except for red wine recently. The evening is supposed to be spent with the immediate family. And of course, the most important item was the Holy Host brought home from the church.
At the beginning of the supper, the eldest member of the family would say a prayer, make a sign of the Cross over the Holy Host, and distribute it to those around the table. However, since we are diplomats and travel around the world, we have our tradition to invite local friends to the Christmas Eve supper and introduce them to our centuries-long traditions. In the old days people used to play games and do fortunetelling. In general, Christmas Eve supper in Lithuania is considered to be a very solemn and holy event, unlike Christmas when everybody is relieved after the long fasting during Advent. It is then that people bake a goose or a pig, and eat to their heart’s content. Then they go visiting friends and neighbors. But no Christmas day would start without going to Church for the early morning mass. Of course, young children open up their Santa Claus gifts even before going to church. Nowadays because of the traditions and due to the worldwide celebration of the day, Christmas is the most important event of the year.
– What about the New Year’s celebration traditions?
– Again, in Soviet times, since Christmas was forbidden in Lithuania, New Year’s Eve was made the major holiday of the year. Of course, a holiday is a holiday, and we gladly celebrated it. The traditions here do not have deep roots. It is more an outdoor event, spent with friends and big companies. For us, New Year’s celebration depended largely on the country of our residence. In Washington DC, as we had small children, we used to go watch fireworks. In Canada, we used to go skating on the Ottawa River canal. In the brief periods we were in Lithuania we tried to divide our time between relatives and friends. In Belarus, we usually used to spend the evening outdoors with friends roasting a pig, making mulled wine, and enjoying a sleigh ride. In New York we squeezed our way towards Time Square in the crowd of hundreds of thousands to watch a crystal ball called the Big Apple fall on a spike.
– You are here for over three years. Have you experienced the Georgian New Year?
– Meanwhile, in our beloved Tbilisi, we choose not to go anywhere, but invite our friends instead to our house, where we can enjoy the beautiful sight of multiple fireworks, which seemingly come from every courtyard, street, and square. My wife Dalia bakes a stuffed duck; we drink champagne, and wish all the best in the New Year to each other and our family, our friends and relatives, and peace and prosperity to our countries. And after the clock strikes, we usually have a lengthy period of attempted telephone calls around the world, trying to contact our children in the US and our relatives in Lithuania, sometimes unsuccessfully because of the blocked lines. At two o’clock in the morning we celebrate another New Year together with Lithuania and then we watch the Lithuanian television program. In younger days, we used to stay up until at least six o’clock in the morning; however, now our New Year’s nights become shorter and shorter.
On the first of January we celebrate Lithuania’s Flag Day, and we spent it visiting friends and getting ready for new accomplishments.
Print
Other Stories
UNICEF Launches Online Consultations For Pregnant Women Concerning COVID-19
Pregnant women throughout Georgia are invited to attend free virtual sessions led by top gynecologists and have answers to their most pressing questions answered, - reads the statement by UNICEF.
UNDP - Boosting Georgia’s Public Healthcare With Digital Solutions
UNDP Georgia states that boosting the healthcare system with digital solutions in Georgia will enable thousands of medical staff to improve their skills in treating infectious diseases.
Railway Travel Has Been Resumed Today, June 15
According to a government decree, rail traffic has been resumed today, June 15.
The Second Wave Of Covid-19 is Expected In Georgia
According to Paata Imnadze, Deputy Director of the National Center for Disease Control, the second wave of coronavirus will most likely occur, and if the population does not follow the rules, it will occur sooner.
60 273 Coronavirus PCR Tests Have Been Done in Georgia So Far
The government's report about the measures taken against COVID-19 says that 60 273 coronavirus PCR testings were done on primary samples in Georgia in the period of 30 January - 3 June.
Georgia Reopens Shops and Malls
All kinds of open shops, including malls, have been opened in Georgia today.
Municipal Transport Services Resumed in Georgia
All kinds of municipal transport services – including Tbilisi Metro – have been resumed throughout Georgia today.
Municipal Transport to Reopen From May 29 in Georgia
All types of municipal transport will be reopened from May 29, Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia said at the meeting of the Inter-Agency Coordination Council on COVID-19 today.
Tourists Have to Present a Covid-19 Test Result Before Entering Georgia
According to Amiran Gamkrelidze, Head of the National Center for Disease Control, tourists will likely have to present a document while entering Georgia that they had been tested in the last 72 hours and the result was negative.
Covid-19 Restrictions Lifted In Georgia
As the epidemiological situation allows to accelerate certain situations, some restrictions have been lifted today in Georgia.
Some Covid-19 Restrictions To be Lifted In Georgia From May 18
Some of the restrictions imposed due to coronavirus spread is going to be lifted in Georgia from Monday, May 18.
The State Of Emergency Will Not Be Extended in Georgia
According to the Prime Minister, Giorgi Gakharia, the government will not address the President with a request to extend the state of emergency after May 22.
Village in Bolnisi Municipality to be Set Under Quarantine
Based on the decision made by the Interagency Coordinating Council, due to the high epidemiological risk, strict quarantine restrictions have been enacted in the village of Geta, Bolnisi Municipality, as part of the state of emergency.
Georgia to partially lift coronavirus-related restrictions on May 5
Georgia starts to partially lift some of the coronavirus related restrictions which were banned under the state of emergency.
9 patients die from COVID-19 as number of infected nears 600
The ninth patient has died of coronavirus in Georgia, who was 58-year-old in a critical condition.
Four Georgian sailors, who escaped from pirates, are safe
The Maritime Transport Agency said they are working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on the issue related to the abduction of Georgian sailors by pirates in Nigeria.
Georgian couple exercises acrobatic tricks in a lockdown
The worldwide lockdown has changed many lives. If before pandemic it was usual to go out in the evening with a friend, drink beer or sip coffee, pandemic has changed the way people spend time.
Will flights be safe after the pandemic? – Visualization proves opposite
Nearly all passenger flights have been grounded after the coronavirus outbreak and declaration of the worldwide pandemic.
Epidemic in Georgia is contained, top Georgian health expert says
Georgia has managed to contain the epidemic, Amiran Gamkrelidze, Head of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health said.
Georgia may be among the first countries which get remdesivir medicine
There is a hope that Georgia will be among the first countries which receive remdesivir medicine from the US, Tengiz Tsertsvadze, General Director of the Tbilisi Infectious Diseases Hospital said.
Georgia receives 40 thousand PCR tests from China
Georgia has received 40 thousand PCR tests from china, including 20 thousand antibody tests as a gift from the Chinese government, Healthcare Minister, Ekaterine Tikaradze said, who met the cargo at the airport.
COVID-19 will end in Georgia by June, study says
Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) publishes new study which forecasts possible end of the coronavirus pandemic in the world and some of the other countries, including Georgia.
Coronavirus cases reach 511 as Georgia passes peak of the spread
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus has increased to 511 in Georgia.
More than 100 thousand people downloaded covonavirus tracking app in Georgia
More than 100 thousand people in Georgia have downloaded a new government smartphone application designed to aid coronavirus contact tracing efforts.
Coronavirus cases near 500 as Georgia eases restrictions
“We will have to learn to cohabit and coexist with this virus” – says Tengiz Tsertsvadze, General Director of the Tbilisi Infectious Diseases Hospital.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
02.08.2020
03.08.2020
USD
1
USD
3.0721
3.0721
EUR
1
EUR
3.6420
3.6420
GBP
1
GBP
4.0343
4.0343
RUB
100
RUB
4.1573
4.1573
Other Stories
World famous British singer Jessie J has decided to wear clothes made by Anouki Areshidze, Georgian designer and wife of the mayor of Tbilisi.
Bassiani, one of the most popular underground clubs not only in Georgia but throughout Europe as well, has opened today
An amazing video made in Georgia by tourists from the Philippines have gone viral on the internet.
Over the recent two days May 12-13 Tbilisi city saw a peaceful protest rally in the center of the city.
Hundreds of people took to the main street Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi to protest the raid in Tbilisi’s popular night clubs.
Two bear cubs listed as endangered on the red list were handed over to Tbilisi Zoo,
Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze and Deputy Tbilisi Mayor Ms. Sophio Khuntsaria have gifted a food stand
Pamela Anderson, famous Canadian American actress and model has appeared in the chic sunglasses by internationally acclaimed Georgian designer George Keburia.
A ski lift accident in Georgia’s eastern Gudauri resort,in particular at Sadzele 5 lift, has left 8 people with injuries.
The ski lift in Gudauri winter resort in Georgia has broke down in the aftermath of which several people have been injured.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
3.0721
EUR
1
EUR
3.6420
GBP
1
GBP
4.0343
RUB
100
RUB
4.1573
August 2020
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31