On May 20, 1463, duke Kazimieras Jogailaitis approved the city rights of Kaunas. It would make Kaunas 556 years old, but we're counting its age since 1408, when Magdeburg rights were granted; thus the third weekend of May is officially the birthday weekend of our 611-year-old city. Get ready for a three-day marathon representing the full scope of Kaunas, including its Hanseatic history, the colourful interwar period and the hopeful future.
Three époques will melt into a singular event full of action, sound and light. The organisers have made sure there’ll be something for everyone, despite his or her age and preferences.
The main stages of the Birthday weekend will be located at the Kaunas Castle and the Town Hall Square. By the castle, you’ll hear Symphomania, a symphonic rock girl band from Ukraine, and a solo show of Finnish rock soprano Tarja Turunen, on May 17. A tribute to Pink Floyd is scheduled for May 18, accompanied by light and sound fountains. The Town Hall Square will be converted into a massive night club full of contemporary dance music, lasers and neon lights.
The Old Town of Kaunas will be filled with pop-up activities including markets, trampoline parks, traditional craft workshops, exhibitions, drum shows, fire performances, Medieval dance classes etc. A knight tournament of 20+ brave men from all over Europe will take place.
The inspirational period of interwar Kaunas will be reflected in the space around the Historical Presidential Palace. Don’t be surprised upon meeting important political leaders, artists and residents of Kaunas as it was before WW2. The garden of the palace will be the meeting ground of retro music lovers – dancers, too. Old black-and-white movies will be screened in the courtyard of the Blessed Sacrament Church across the street from the palace. In fact, the church was converted to a cinema during the Soviet Occupation.
The Birthday weekend of Kaunas will coincide with the Museum Night on May 18. The worldwide event is much-celebrated here in Kaunas; most of the city’s numerous museums host special events planned long in advance and, of course, grant free entry till wee hours.
All in all, the weekend of May 17-19 is indeed a kaunastic opportunity to enjoy our 611-year-old city to the fullest. Click here to find out if there is a direct flight from your city to Kaunas!