Lithuanians are crazy about Christmas and everything that comes with this wonderful holiday! Even the grumpiest people have smiles on their faces and forget about the cold weather and short days. There are plenty of unique traditions that every Lithuanian can relate to, some of which are centuries old. One thing is for sure, though—Christmas in Lithuania would not be complete without them!
Kūčiukai With Poppy Milk
Kūčiukai are bite-sized biscuits served with freshly made poppy milk that are only eaten during the Christmas season. You would never ever see Lithuanians having this dish any other time. So, if you want to try it, better make your way to Lithuania before Santa Claus.
We all know that Santa Claus actually exists, but he has a lot of kids to visit around the world, so he doesn’t have time to visit Lithuania, which is why Lithuanians made a deal with Santa and got permission to dress up as him to surprise their kids on Christmas Eve. That is how Lithuanian kids grow up believing in Santa Claus.
Home Alone , starring Macaulay Culkin, has been the traditional Christmas movie in Lithuania for years. Every 90s kid knows Kevin McCallister’s story. Many things change in Lithuania, but you can bet you’ll see Home Alone on TV during the holidays. More recently, the Harry Potter movies have also become a staple of Lithuanian Christmas.
Almost every house in Lithuania has a Christmas tree decorated with garlands and lights. Actually decorating the Christmas tree is an important family tradition in and of itself. Historically, people would cut the Christmas tree from the nearest forest, but today, decorative Christmas trees are getting more and more popular, as it’s more convenient and better for the environment.
Going to Church
Lithuania is largely a Catholic society, so many visit the local church on Christmas. However, there seems to be something about this holiday that inspires even those who aren’t particularly religious to go to Mass. So, yes, many people in Lithuania only go to church for weddings, funerals and Christmas.
Not overeating on Christmas is not possible, no matter where you are in the world. Who can refuse a delicious home-cooked meal? Oh yes, mother’s food is always the best, especially on Christmas Eve, when every table in Lithuania is stacked with at least 12 different dishes. In accordance with Catholic traditions, many Lithuanians abstain from meat on Christmas, so most of the dishes are fish.
Emigration is quite a social problem in Lithuania, as many people have left the country to look for a better life abroad, especially since joining the European Union. But on Christmas, many come back to spend the holiday with their families, as everyone gathers together from all over the world to celebrate and appreciate each other’s company.
Is there a better drink than mulled wine by the fireplace when the weather outside is super cold? Well, in Lithuania, daylight only lasts for eight hours or so in winter, and the cold sets in quickly, so many Lithuanians consider mulled wine a winter staple.
Lithuanians always prefer to have snow during the Christmas holiday. However, for the last couple of years, nature was not so kind, and kids had to learn how to build snowmen from sand and grass. And yet, Christmas is always associated with snow in Lithuania. If you are visiting from somewhere that has enjoyed a winter frost, make sure to bring some snow with you!
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.