Vilnius is preparing to launch its Christmas season with a tree that, according to the mayor, will be the prettiest in Europe.
The five-week festival 'Christmas in Capital 2019' will kick off on Saturday, November 30, with the lighting of two Christmas trees in Vilnius, in Cathedral Square and Town Hall Square.
The festival will include Christmas markets, a Christmas train and a skating ring in Lukiškės Square. The centrepiece of the programme will be an animated story projected onto the Cathedral wall on December 25–29.
Presenting the programme on Tuesday, Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius said that the Lithuanian capital seeks to have the most beautiful Christmas tree in Europe.
“In recent years, more and more tourists come to our capital city in December and they leave happy, because their expectations have been met. With the positive feedback we get every year, we must surpass ourselves. [...] We try to create a festival combining unique ideas, style, modernity and tradition," said Šimašius.
Last year, Vilnius Christmas tree was featured in a number of foreign media outlets, including USA Today, Matador Network, Corriere della Serra and Brussels Express.
Paulius Jurgutis, the head of Vilnius Culture Centre, previously told LRT.lt that the city would spend 90,000 euros on the Christmas tree in Cathedral Square this year.
It will be decorated with 100,000 electric lights, according to one of the designers, Dominykas Koncevičius.
On November 30, a traditional charity fair in Vilnius Town Hall, hosted by foreign embassies, will raise funds for NGOs working with children, disabled people and the elderly.