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Traditional St. Bartholomew’s Fair certificated as Lithuanian national heritage is revived for the 9th time with a great event reconstructing crafts, arts and guild traditions of the Late Medieval Ages and the Renaissance. The Fair will be held at Vilnius Town Hall square on the 21st–22nd of August, 2020. The Fair has been known for the citizens of Vilnius since 17th century after being mentioned for the first time in 1664 in the first Statute of Vilnius potter’s guild.
Historic fair invites to know craft traditions
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

St. Bartholomew’s Fair lasts for 2 days. It opens with a solemn parade with the flags of the Vilnius craftsmen guilds (The Gates of Dawn, Vokiečių str., Dominikonų str., Šv. Jono str., Pilies str., Didžioji str., Town Hall Square). During this event citizens and guests of Vilnius get the exceptional chance to get acquainted with crafts, see the warfare and noblemen’s fights of 17th century, see demonstration of production processes, be in craftsmen’ shoes by throwing, spinning, weaving, forging coins, admire costumes, dance and listen to the music of the Late Medieval Ages and the Renaissance, listen to the lectures about goldsmiths, their history and craft, and purchase items reconstructed by professional craftsmen according to the originals of 15th–17th century.

This year Fair‘s program is not only full of music, dance and warfare performances, but also everyone will get a chance to know each craft better and closer – more than 70 craftsmen-reconstructors will demonstrate crafts and teach visitors various ancient secrets: from making a wooden sculpture or kneading-trough for bread, or decorating rings of the Grand Dukes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, to archaic craft of glass bead making.

Organizers of the Fair invite all citizens and guests of Vilnius city to commemorate this unique festival of city’s craftsmen in the context of celebrating 525 years anniversary of establishing the Goldsmith Guild on 23rd August 1495, when the Grand Duke of Lithuania Alexander Jagiellon approved the statute of the first guild of Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the privilege to Vilnius goldsmiths’ guild was granted by the Duke.

Historic St. Bartholomew’s Fair is certificated as Lithuanian national heritage and maintains traditions of crafts and city’s culture. This revived festival is valuable as the part of Intangible Cultural Heritage for strengthening the cultural contents and significance of Vilnius Historic Center – UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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