20 facts about unseen Lithuania

“Where do you come from? Lithu… what?” This is probably the most common question Lithuanians hear when they meet foreigners. Well, it’s quite understandable. Lithuania is a very tiny country that has a population of 3 million people and we became independent only 28 years ago. Although Lithuania is still quite unknown, it is a really nice place to visit and to live in. It’s full of lakes, forests and rivers. There are also small towns and big cities with precious little streets and stunning architecture. That’s why you have to get to know Lithuania!                               

Here are 20 facts about my beautiful country:

A photo of Lithuanian scenery.

  1. It rains a lot in Lithuania. Even the country name Lietuva is derived from noun lietus what means ‘rain’.
  2. Lithuanian is one of the oldest languages in the world and also the one that is extremely difficult to learn.
  3. We have one of the fastest Internet speeds in the world.
  4. You can fly hot air balloons over Vilnius! It is one of the very few European capitals where hot air balloons over city are permitted.
  5. A peaceful political demonstration The Baltic Way is the longest human chain in history. About 2 million people joined their hands forming 600 km long human chain through the Baltic countries in 1989 to demonstrate their efforts towards freedom.
  6. It is forbidden here to cross the road whilst looking at your phone.
  7. Lithuania is one of the flattest countries in the world. The highest top of Lithuania is at a height of 300 metres above sea level. Apparently, a perfect place for hiking!
  8. Lithuania is the geographical center of Europe.
  9. A person who is under 20 is not permitted to consume alcoholic drinks here. In addition, grocery stores cannot sell alcohol to anyone after 8 pm.
  10. We love gathering wild mushrooms in the forests. According to statistics, one Lithuanian is able to find 10 kg of mushrooms in 3 hours.
  11. Vilnius University is the oldest university in Eastern Europe.
  12. According to a famous legend, Napoleon Bonaparte was so amazed by St. Anne’s church that he wanted to carry it on his palm from Vilnius to Paris.
  13. If you have plans on getting married soon don’t sit at a corner of the table. Lithuanians believe it makes you unmarriageable for the next 7 years.
  14. Every winter the temperature drops to -30 °C. Luckily, it stays like this for only about a week.
  15. The Lithuanian ‘thank you’ which is ačiū sounds like the English sneeze word ‘achoo’
  16. A sport that unites the whole nation during the championships and Olympic Games is basketball.
  17. Christmas Eve dinner is a very special tradition for Lithuanians. One of the most important thing is to have 12 dishes that wouldn’t contain meat. Also, we set an empty plate for family or friends lost within the past year.
  18. A Lithuanian is about to get a Nobel Prize! Virginijus Šikšnys has newly discovered how to modify DNA which will be used while helping people with incurable diseases.
  19. We always take our shoes off right after entering home. Especially if we are visiting someone.
  20. There’s a bohemian neighbourhood in Vilnius called The Republic of Užupis that has its own flag, unofficial currency, president and constitution.

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