HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, LITHUANIA!
The outcome of WWI allowed for Lithuania, still suffering from German occupation, to reach the nation’s long-term goal of restoring an independent state. In 1917, over 200 delegates, forming the Council of Lithuania, convened for the Vilnius Conference and adopted a resolution stating the objective to make Lithuania an independent state. On 16 February 1918, the members of the Council signed the Act of Independence of Lithuania.
Here is an except from that declaration:
Unlike other countries, Lithuania celebrates two Independence Days. Lithuania remained an independent nation from 1918 until 1940, when the Soviet Union retook it. After remaining under Soviet Union for another almost 50 years, the Republic of Lithuania became independent once again on March 11, 1990. The national flag of Lithuania consists of three horizontal strips – yellow, green, and red. Yellow represents the golden fields of Lithuania, green represents the lush green countryside, and red represents all the blood that has been shed for Lithuania.
Major cities throughout the country host big celebrations–parades, concerts, and gatherings–on February 16 to honor the hard-fought battle for the freedom they have today. This morning, Klaipėda had a military parade that some of the study abroads attended, which was short but so worth the trip into Old Town! It was a beautiful day for a birthday party! Su Gimtadieniu, Lietuva (Happy Birthday, Lithuania)! We’re so excited to be here to celebrate this day with the incredible nation we call our temporary home!
Lithuanian word of the week: Nepriklausomybės diena – Independence Day