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Lithuania is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. Since its independence, Lithuania has been referred to as one of the Baltic states. It is bordered by Latvia, Belarus, Poland, the detached Russian oblast of Kaliningrad as well as sharing a maritime border with Sweden.
Population: 2,867,725 inhabitants.
Capital city: Vilnius
Official language: Lithuanian
Government: Unitary semi-presidential Republic.
Currency: Euro (€)
EU Member since 2004
Religion: 80% Christianity
Regions: Klaipėda, Telšiai, Šiauliai, Panevėžys, Tauragė, Kaunas, Utena, Marijampolė, Vilnius, Alytus
Climate: The country has a temperate seasonal climate.

What are some cultural traditions in Lithuania?

Customs and Traditions

Lithuanian traditions (‘tradicijos’), are some of the most unique and fun in the Baltic countries of Europe. Most of these traditional holidays and celebrations follow the cyclical nature of seasons, and mark times when Mother Earth is changing.

  • Midsommar – singing traditional folk music & dancing until sunset, enjoying Lithuanian foo, jumping over bonfire, young women washing their face with fresh dew in the morning, searching to find the magic fern blossom at midnight, floating flower wreaths and garlands on the lake, watching the sunrise.
  • September Equinox – the days are shortening, the winter is coming, and Lithuanians prepare for the dark winter. To celebrate this yearly occurrence, there are bountiful markets selling goods from the new harvest. It is a special time to be in the present moment and give thanks to the harvest for all it has supplied.
  • Coronation of Mindaugas – On July 6th all throughout Lithuania, the locals proudly sing the national anthem at a certain designated time. It is a show of national pride and recognition of the past monarchy.
  • Assumption day – Local people bring flowers and wheat ears as a symbol of the miracle of the new harvest. This holiday starts at the church and is really an important day to spend with family.
  • Shrove Tuesday – Known as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras in other parts of the world, Shrove Tuesday is the Lithuanian equivalent. It also symbolizes the end of winter and welcoming of spring time. The most prominent feature of this festival are the traditional hand carved wood masks.
  • Palm Sunday –  Exactly one week until Easter, Palm Sunday marks the beginning of spring. Lithuanians come out of their winter hibernations and celebrate on the streets!
  • Easter Granny – Forget the Easter Bunny! In Lithuania, the Easter Granny is the queen of the holiday. Named Velyku Bobute, this sweet old grandma is the one to bring Easter eggs to the children on Easter. Families gather to share delicious food and decorate Easter eggs. The Easter eggs are a symbol of life and rebirth, so the egg decoration is taken seriously.
  • Christmas Eve – Christmas Day is a joyous celebration met with gifts under the Christmas tree, and huge feasts with traditional cakes, meats, breads, and other Lithuanian food.


Lithuanian cuisine features the products suited to the cool and moist northern climate of Lithuania: barley, potatoes, rye, beets, greens, berries, and mushrooms are locally grown, and dairy products are one of its specialties. Fish dishes are very popular in the coastal region.

Rye bread

One of the oldest and most fundamental Lithuanian food products was and is rye bread. Rye bread is eaten every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Bread played an important role in family rituals and agrarian ceremonies.



A potato-based dumpling dish, usually served with meat, curd or mushrooms.


Šakotis (tree cake)

Because of its size, Šakotis is often considered the king of Lithuanian cakes and desserts. Some Šakotis can be up to one meter in length!


During your experience, you will want to learn more about Lithuania through its music! Below you can find links to some of Lithuania's most loved artists. Take a listen, you might find your new favorite artist!

Modern Lithuanian Music

Listen to

Living costs in Lithuania

  1. Public transportation - €1.00 in Kaunas (prices vary from city to city)

  2. Cinema ticket - €8

  3. Coffee €2.5

Safety Tips

Lithuania is not a country where you should be afraid of something bad happening to you, but like in every country, we always advise students to take precaution in certain scenarios so they can avoid getting themselves into uncomfortable or dangerous situations.

Below you can read some safety tips that we recommend for you to follow throughout your exchange.

While you are in public transport or in crowded places, it is important that you take care of your personal belongings such as your phone, wallet, bag etc. Try to keep it close to you.


The average Lithuanian family consists of parents and kids. The grandparents usually live in a different household. In Lithuania it is possible to live in countryside without any neighbors and that is the dream of many Lithuanians.


School is going to be a very big part of your exchange program. This is where you will be spending the most of your day, where you will interact with other people your age, learn more about Lithuania and continue your education. For many young people, school is a vital place of learning but also meeting new people.

Typically you will be attending Secondary school that is nearest to your host family’s house. AFS students in Lithuania study at secondary schools and gymnasiums, but generally speaking there aren’t any major differences between these institutions. Their names can be different, but the content is more or less the same — all of them are secondary schools.

Learning Lithuanian

It is expected from you to show effort in learning the Lithuanian language.

If you feel like impressing your host family and AFS by learning some Lithuanian before you come we can recommend this online app (Ling Learn Languages) available for IOS and Android devices, that can help you get a kick start of the Lithuanian language. Click on the link below to find out more!

Learn Lithuanian

Give, risk, live!

“It was a series of unexpected events from the first to the last day. It passed in a second, though it was hard. And as hard as it was, I would do it all again. The amount of growth, experience and happiness I gained are impossible to express through words. The only advice I can give is that you have to see for yourself. Give, risk, live!”

– Amelia from Italy 2017/2018

Lasīt vairāk

The AFS Activity Calendar


During your stay in Lithuania, you will be able to access the AFS calendar where you can find information on which dates your camps and other AFS activities that you have to attend will be hosted. Please use this calendar to manage and organize your time beforehand and have all data in regards to when the camps and other AFS related activities are being hosted.

Go to Calendar


This is a set of rules set by AFS that you are obliged to follow throughout the entire course of your exchange program. Should you break the rules, you will receive consequences for your actions, maybe even an early return.

Regardless of whether or not you have a driver’s license during your exchange program, you are not allowed to drive!


During your exchange program, you will be covered by the AFS insurance. It is very important for you to read over the files to get to know what your insurance covers and entitles you. This will all be further explained during your arrival camp, however you will always be able to access the information on this website at any point of your program.

Medical Pamphlet


What students should know about Finances

Applying for an AFS exchange program i just the beginning of the journey that awaits you. Learning and embracing a new culture is in today's context considered as one of the most valuable tools. We as AFS help you prepare as future, active and global leaders by providing you modern day tools of intercultural learning.

Sharing Cultures - Connecting Lives

Going abroad is much more than just moving to a different country. It is about opening up to new people, getting to know them and their culture as well as sharing your own. This type of sensitivity raises student’s confidence when it comes to learning about new cultures and raising curiosity.


Stepping out of your comfort zone

During your time abroad, you will get to know yourself far more than you expect! You will create a better understanding of yourself that will benefit you in your social intelligence. Getting to know yourself, opening up to new experiences and adventures is something that will be inevitable during your time abroad!


Life-Long Learning

As exchange students, you become aware of life-long learning and it’s great impact. You will create a better understanding that learning can come from different places and that learning about a new culture and language can best be done in action!


Where can you find us?


AFS Intercultural Programs Latvia
Blaumaņa iela 38/40, 4th Floor, LV-1011 Rīga

Tel: (+371) 67280646
E-mail: [email protected]

Emergency phone: (+371) 67280646

Website: http://www.afs.lv
Facebook: AFS Latvia
Instagram: @afslatvia
TikTok: @afslatvia