Bad weather and pandemic risks notwithstanding, Lithuania did not hold back in celebrating its 30 years of independence.
On Wednesday morning, during the official ceremony outside the parliament building – indoor events were cancelled due to coronavirus concerns – President Gitanas Nausėda addressed Vytautas Landsbergis, who chaired the Supreme Council which declared Lithuania independent three decades ago, as “president”.
“No, I did not misspeak, president, because this word best describes the things he accomplished as the head of state, the man whose leadership 30 years ago was crucial for the revival of an independent Lithuania,” Nausėda said during a ceremony.
He also extended his condolences to Landsbergis whose wife Gražina Ručytė-Landsbergienė passed away on Tuesday.
The ceremony at Independence Square was followed by a parade from the parliament to Cathedral Square. The marchers, accompanied by the military orchestras of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and guards of honour, carried a 400-metre flag along Gedimino Avenue.
At the Cathedral Square, the Baltic military orchestras gave a performance, while around 400 people tried to form Vytis, the knight on horseback in the Lithuanian coat of arms.
A giant flag, the size of three basketball courts, was also unfurled in Kaunas, while in Klaipėda numerous smaller flags surrounded the river Danė.
A concert at Independence Square in the evening concluded with fireworks at exactly 22:44, which was the hour when the Supreme Council of Lithuania pronounced the country’s independence on March 11, 1990.