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Kaziukas fair


The Traditionally Spring Festival - Kaziukas Fair

Kaziuko mugė is a large annual Lithuanian folk arts and crafts fair dating to the beginning of the 17th century. It was originally held at the two main markets in Vilnius, Lithuania, as well as in the city streets.

The fair is traditionally held on the Sunday nearest to St. Casimir's Day, the first weekend of March. In Lithuanian, Kaziukio mugė means "Little Casimir's" Fair. Today, Kaziukas fair also features music and dance; it attracts tens of thousands of visitors and many craftsmen from all over the country as well as from neighbouring states such as Latvia, Russia, and Poland.

Assortment

The arts and crafts at the fair include hand-made goods from local craftsmen, such as apparel, knitted clothes, footwear, toys, utensils, metal crafting, souvenirs, and paintings. Foodstuffs such as rye bread, bagels, honey cookies, meat and diary products, natural honey, beer, and kvass are sold as well. Traditional "palm" bouquets (called "verbos", hence Verbų sekmadienis) are one of the fair's specialties. Made of colourful dried flowers and herbs, they are taken to churches on Palm Sunday. The shape of the "palms" resembles a lily, a flower with which St. Casimir is traditionally portrayed.

Another popular product at the fair is called "muginukas", an often heart-shaped honey cookie, decorated with coloured sugar flowers, zig-zags, dots, and birds. Popular men's and women's names are written on the cookies. People buy them to give to their loved ones. It is a custom to bring some back for anyone who had to remain at home.

Location

The pavilions of the fair occupy streets and squares in the Old Town of Vilnius. They start in Gediminas Avenue, traverse the Cathedral Square, and branch into Pilies Street, B. Radvilaitės Street, passing St. Anne's Church and the Orthodox Cathedral of the Theotokos, and into the so-called Tymas' Quarter on the left bank of Vilnia River near Užupis.