A quaint country founded in the middle of Austria and Switzerland, Lichtenstein is the last remaining place from the Holy Roman Empire. It is a country that enjoys contemporary and industrialized living, being one of the centers of commercial and international banking. With close ties to Switzerland, Lichtenstein is also a prime spot for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities. They have wonderful mountain sceneries that are not just very pleasing to the eyes, but also great for biking, hiking, and other mountaineering experiences. The people in Lichtenstein have a unique culture that cannot be put into the same category as their neighboring countries.
Important and Interesting Facts About Lithuania
- One of the most fascinating sites in Lithuania, the Hill of Witches, is covered in carvings of various sizes and designs such as witches, pagan gods, animals and other creatures.
- The Hill of Crosses is located near Siauliai; another fascinating site, covered in thousands upon thousands of crosses of all different sizes, styles and materials: wood, plastic, metal, amber, and even wool.
- Lithuania is the largest of the Baltic States and has borders with Latvia to the north, Belarus in the southeast, Poland in the southwest corner, Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, in the southeast, and across the Baltic Sea is Sweden.
- Lithuania is one of several countries vying for recognition as containing the geographical center of Europe, just north of Vilnius.
- Forest covers 1/3 of the country, including many protected regions and national parks.
- Lithuania has fertile central plains are separated by hilly uplands that are ancient glacial deposits.
- According to a study made by a French scientist in 1989, Lithuania is in the geographical center of Europe.
- Making vodka from corn was first discovered by the Lithuanians.
- Vilnius University of Lithuania was the first University in the Eastern Europe.
- The very first written depiction of Lithuania is in a medieval German manuscript known as the Annals of Quedlinburg, in a record, dated 9th March, 1009.
Cool, Funny, and Fun Facts About Lithuania
- Lithuania is known as the land of storks, the national bird for the country with about 13,000 pairs, hence the mythology of storks bringing babies still being a commonly told story in the area.
- From a ranking in 2011, Lithuania ranked first worldwide for internet upload and download speed.
- Lithuanians Broke the Iron Curtain. Ok, well not exactly ‘broke,’ but they were the first to break away from the Eastern Block, inspiring other countries to follow. It wasn’t easy, by any means.
- The mother of Pope John Paul II was of Lithuanian descent.
- Lithuanians Are Super Aerial. Aerobatic flying is another Lithuanian specialty; Jurgis Kairys in particular. The world champion even has a maneuver named after him: the Kairys Wheel.
- One of Lithuania’s most famous dishes, ‘Cepilin,’ is named after the German Zeppelin airship because of its oval shape. Diner, beware: it’s swimming in bacon drip. Your arteries may not forgive you but your tastebuds will.
- Lithuania’s Vilnius is the only capital in the world that you can fly a hot air balloon over. I suppose that makes sense, since Lithuania is also #1 for the highest number of hot air balloons per person.
- Two famous Lithuanian heroes are Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas, two pilots that attempted a cross Atlantic flight from NYC to Kaunas, Lithuania. They made it across the ocean but crashed before reaching their destination.
- It has itsown perfume, called ‘the Scent of Lithuania’ and includes the aroma of lilacs, amber, red berries and cedar.
- The Lithuanian word for ‘thank you’(Ačiū) sounds like the English sneeze word ‘Achoo!’
- The ‘godfather’ ofavant-garde filmmaking, Jonas Mekas, was Lithuanian.
- Anthony Keidis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers; the director, Robert Zemeckis; Charles Bronson; Bob Dylan; Leonard Cohen; the football player Johnny Unitas; and actor John C. Reilly.
Historical and Cultural Facts About Lithuania
- The traditional dish of Shrove Tuesday is pancakes. Shrove Tuesday is based on a masquerade and the struggle between two mythological characters Fatso (Lasininis), who represents winter and Hemper (Kanapinis) who represents spring. This is when everybody dresses up and has fun. And a fight… of course Hemper wins – spring is already here, goodbye winter!
- It’s Palm Sunday. You have returned home with consecrated palms. It is tradition to whip those who stayed at home. It’s just a symbolic act. You just gently whip the back and shoulders of those who stayed home and sing, ‘I am not the one striking, the Palm is striking, you are not in pain, the Palm is in pain, soon it will be Easter.
- Lithuania was in a “dynastic union” with Poland from 1386-1569. Grand Duke Jogaila of Lithuania married Jadwiga of the Polish royal house in 1386. From then on the hereditary Grand Dukes were regularly chosen for the elected position of King of Poland. However the two countries were not formally united until 1569.
- The cuisine in Lithuania features locally grown ingredients such as barley, potatoes, rye, beets, greens, berries, mushrooms and dairy products. Popular dishes include Cepelinai, a potato based dumpling dish, Lithuanian cold Borscht, Lithuanian Beef Rolls and others. Mushroom and wild berry picking can be a popular activity in summer and fall months.
- Rasos & Joninas Day (Midsummer). The morning of Midsummer, young ladies should wash their faceswith the fresh dew. In the evening, there are bonfires, putting wish/spell bagsin the water; and looking for fern blossoms.
- Easter Granny.No cute and fuzzy animals, but Velykų Bobute brings eggs at Easter.Bunnies help decorate the eggs* and load her cart. She has a sunbeam whip to urge her small pony forward.
- The Lithuanian style of decorating Easter eggs involves natural dyes (boiled red onion skins) and then scratching a white design into the shell. The process can take a week or more for a detailed decoration.
- Christmas Eve. An empty plateis set for family or friends lost within the past year; and theChristmas Eve dinner is left out overnight to ‘feed’ all friends and family lost.
- Want to get married?Don’t sit at a corner. Apparently only true for unwed ladies, sitting at the corner of a table makes you unmarriageable.
- In their own language, the country is called Lietuva.