Separating Vilnius from the bohemian republic of Uzupis, the Vilnele River is the focus point for merriment on St. Paddy’s Day. Taking its inspiration from Chicago, which also colours its river, the Vilnius municipality turns the Vilnele River a shocking shade of bright green for just a few hours only — perfect for selfies and stunning photos. The municipality uses powdered green vegetable dye to temporarily color the still partially frozen river.
Visitors will also see a model Guinness ship decked out in green and flying Ireland’s green, white, and orange flag. In addition, locals, those with Irish heritage, and Irish expats parade over Uzupio Bridge with Irish dog breeds in tow. Bars in Uzupis mark the celebration with Guinness on tap or in cans, as well as traditional Irish food specials such as Irish stew. The celebrations don’t stop there, once the sun sets, visitors all over the city will see the white crosses on the Hill of Three Crosses lit up in green, a common but beautiful practice for many of Lithuania’s celebrations.
Celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Vilnius started approximately five years ago, in part to recognize the 100,000 Lithuanian citizens residing in Ireland and to show Lithuania’s strong relationship with Ireland. The Irish embassy in Vilnius often holds special St. Patrick’s Day events, concerts, and celebrations. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook to find out more.