Celebrate New Year in Lithuania

January 11th 2024 in Events
Celebrate New Year in Lithuania

Celebrate New Year in Lithuania

Lithuania is a country with natural beauty, cultural diversity, unique architecture, and a high quality of life. The government has created a memorable New Year's celebration using folklore and traditions.

New Year's is the most important and culturally celebrated holiday in Lithuania. It's a perfect time to reflect on what we have achieved, to look back and think about where we are going in life. For those who are just starting, setting some goals for the coming year can be a good idea. This article will dive deep into Lithuanian's most common New Year's customs and traditions.

The History Of New Year's Day In Lithuania

New Year's Day is celebrated on different days depending on the country. However, January 1st is the day many countries choose to celebrate it. It is a time for family and friends to get together and enjoy each other's company. In Lithuania, New Year's Day is a time for friends to have fun rather than a family-oriented holiday like Christian celebrations. As a result, many people in Lithuania throw parties during this time. Restaurants can be booked up to a month in advance due to the high demand for New Year's Day celebrations.

During the Soviet occupation, the promotion of New Year's Day was heavily emphasized. The campaign began in 1940 to replace traditional Christmas customs with New Year's Day traditions. Although the state-controlled ideology was not entirely successful in this endeavour, it did promote New Year's Day traditions such as "New Year trees" and "New Year presents" and shifted them from Christmas to New Year's Day.

One interesting fact is that Lithuanians are pretty fond of Asian horoscopes. They associate each year with a particular element or animal, combining Western and Eastern cultures uniquely.

Lithuanian New Year's Celebration

Compared to Christmas Eve, New Year's celebration in Lithuania is a time to connect with friends, especially for millennials. There is a saying in Lithuania, "Kaip sutiksi naujus metus, taip juos ir praleisi," which means "the way you'll meet the new year is the way you will spend it." Therefore, most young people in Lithuania try to have as much fun as possible. However, according to the Lithuania Tribune, most adults prefer to stay home and have dinner with their closest friends, while teenagers and young adults prefer clubbing. Regarding older adults, two out of three people choose to stay at home and celebrate in the comfort of their homes.

New Year For Kids

Parents all around the world often struggle with the challenge of how to spend New Year's Eve with their children, and Lithuanian parents are no exception. However, decorating the house, engaging children in activities, playing games, and sharing some treats usually works well. Therefore, it is common in Lithuania for kids to celebrate New Year's Eve at home with their parents.

New Year For Teens And Young Adults

Lithuania is a popular tourist destination due to its rich history and culture. The country offers a variety of sightseeing opportunities across different regions and traditions. In addition to these, it also boasts a thriving nightlife scene. Clubbing and celebrating New Year's Eve with friends is more prevalent among young people in Lithuania than staying home with family.

New Year For Adults And Seniors

Typically, older individuals and adults commemorate the start of a new year by spending time with their loved ones and close friends.

The Most Popular Lithuanian New Year Traditions

Lithuanian culture is rich in customs and traditions that are unique and celebrated at various times of the year. Many of these traditions have pagan origins, and some may not be as prominent in present times, but they still contribute to the country's distinctiveness. For instance, Lithuanians ring bells at midnight on December 31st.

Christmas Eve is known as "little New Year's Eve" in Lithuania, as it marks the start of a celebration similar to the one held on December 25th. Apart from food, Christmas Day involves dressing up and visiting relatives. Additionally, Lithuanians stay up until midnight to wish each other a Happy New Year ("Laimingų naujųjų metų") as it is considered bad luck to sleep through the New Year's celebration.

Fortune-telling and making predictions have been integral to holiday celebrations worldwide for as long as anyone can remember.

New Year Dishes And Drinks

New Year's Eve is a significant celebration in Lithuania, and many Lithuanians will enjoy a hearty meal on this occasion. Traditional dishes that are commonly served on this day include sauerkraut or mushroom soup, baked potatoes, fish, and sweet pastries. These are similar to the dishes that are served during Christmas. Food and drink are integral parts of the New Year's Eve celebration, so they will always be on the table.


Lithuanians spend large amounts of money on pyrotechnics during the New Year's celebrations. They celebrate the occasion from noon until midnight by setting off a significant number of fireworks, usually from a selected location where they can be seen from various points around the city. Lighting fireworks is believed to bring good fortune and happiness to their loved ones. Although the state doesn't fund or organize these activities, they make an exception for the holiday and allow citizens to use fireworks without a permit for this one night per year.

Parties And Clubbing

It has become customary for young Lithuanians to mark the New Year by attending clubbing parties or celebrations. In the past, Lithuanians used to spend the night at home with their families. However, with changing times, young people now prefer to go out and party with their friends. Lithuania has various options for partygoers, with some bars even offering drinks at reduced prices between 11 pm and 6 am.