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STATE EMBLEME AND FLAG

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State embleme
      The Lithuanian mounted knight, called Vytis, is one of the oldest state emblems in Europe. It dates back to 1366, the time of Grand Duke Algirdas, and became an emblem of the grand Duchy of Lithuania at the beginning of the 15th century.
     
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State flag
      In 1918 Vytis became the foremost symbol of statehood of Lithuania.
      The state flag was created in 1918. The colours of flag symbolise: yellow - the sun, light and prosperity; green- the Lithuanian landscape, hope and joy; red - the colour of earth, life and blood. It symbolisis the nation's courage and tenacity in the struggle for freedom.
NATIONAL  MONEY

       The litas is the only legal tender in Lithuania. 100 cents - 1 litas (LTL or Lt). At present banknotes come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 denominations. Coins are minted in values of 1, 2, 10, 20, 50 cents and 1, 2, 5 litas.
      The name litas is derived from the three first letters of the word Lithuania as used in various  foreign languages: Lithuania,   Lituanie, Litauen, etc. To those three letters lit the masculine grammatical  ending -as is appended thus forming the name litas.
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One litas note
Žemaitė (1845-1921), a self-educated writer, a pioner of realism in Lithuanian literature.
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Five litas note
Jonas Jablonskis (1860 - 1930), a linguist, author of prescriptive grammar of Lithuanian language.
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Ten litas note
Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas, the first Lithuanian pilots to make a transatlantic flight, in 1933. Both died when their plane crashed near Soldin, Germany (present-day Poland).
LANGUAGE

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What happens when Lithuanians marry...
         Lithuanian is an archaic language. It has retained its ancient sound system and morphological sharacteristies. Of all living Indo-European languages, Lithuanian is the most similar to Sanskrit. The 32-letter Lithuanian alphabet is Latin based.
         Like most cultures, Lithuanians have first and last names. Our last names are very interesting.
LITHUANIAN NATIONAL COSTUMES

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      The term costume refers to clothing unique to a nation and worn by its people on a daily basis or on special occasions, i.e., holidays or celebrations. Festive garments are usually more elegant, colorful and elaborate than ordinary clothes worn every day.
      Lithuanian folk national costumes, those worn by the rural population, are extremely varied and homespun. The patterns are comlex and the color combinations subtle.
      Ancient Lithuanian national attire had  certain characteristic traits:
- all pieces of clothing were made by the peasants from homespun yarn, bleached and dyed mostly with plant dyes;
- the weaving methods are traditional; the yarn varies in thickness thus diversifying the weaving technique;
- the motifs used in every article of clothing are greatly diversified;
- the colors are extremely varied  and contrasting, for instance warm with cold;
- the cut of the garments is unique and every piece is finished differently: overcast, crochet, with tassels or cord, etc;
- the garment fasteners are metal, leather, string or wood.
Women's national costumes have more diversity than those of men. They incorporate more patterns, the colors are more varied, the weave, style and method ofv wear are established by tradition. Of utmost importance is that married and unmarried women wear different head coverings.
RŪTA

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     The rue (Ruta graveolens in Latin; common rue in English) is the unofficial national flower of Lithuania.
     It is believd that the rue arrived in Lithuanian along with Christianity or somewhat earlier when Franciscan missionaries began to arrive in the country.
     The rue, the wreath of rue, became the symbol of virginity and chastity, while the elders maintained that "the rue cures 99 diseases".
     Lithuanian garden without rue was like a day without light.
ŠAKOTIS - SPECIAL LITHUANIAN CAKE

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     In every craft is a hierarchy of skills. In Lithuanian confectionery the apex is a cake called šakotis. It originated in the German Baumkuchen, a Christmas cake shaped like a tree and iced with chocolate to resemble bark.
     It has become so popular, and reached such a level of perfection, that now it is difficult to image a large party, be it a wedding, anniversary or chistening, without it. This is partly because the cake is very decorative. It will also stay for several months, despite the fact that it is made of eggs, butter, sugar, flour and cream.
     The preparation of dough is a lengthy process. Some ingredients have to be stirred, others whipped, for a long time. Later everything is put together and stirred again.
     Even some of cooks cannot bake šakotis. You need not only a special oven, but experience, patience and endurance. For it to be well baked and have good spikes, the oven must be heated to 300 C. The baker has to spent several hours in front of it, pouring the dough slowly on to the rotating roller.
GIRA

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BLACK BREAD CIDER - JUODOS DUONOS GIRA
1 to 1 1/2  lb black bread
2 gallons boiling water
1 lb honey
1 tbsp. Fresh yeast, not dried
1 tbsp. Flour
10 - 12 raisins
      Crumble bread, place in bowl and  cover with boiling water. Cover tightly. When cooled, strain, add honey, yeast mixed with flour; mix well until honey is dissolved. Keep at room temperature 12 hours. Strain, pour into bottles, add several raisins to each, cork. Ready ti drink in 2-3 days. Afterwards, keep refrigerated.
      Note: The cider is strained through a very fine strainer lined with  several thicknesses of cheese cloth. If properly strained, the cider has no sediment, is clean and clear.
NATIONAL STRAW ORNAMENTS

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Simple straw ornaments
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     Straw ornaments made from real wheat or rye straw were used by    farmers to decorate their cottages for weddings or other holiday occasions.
     We would like to teach you to make a simple straw ornaments.
     The materials necessary are:  a box of white paper or plastic  drinking straws; a spool ar ball of strong white thread; several long needles with  eyes large enough to accommodate the thread  selected; a ruler; sharp scissors and imagination.
     To begin: cut 8 equal lengths of straw, about 2 - 3 inches long. Thread the needle with an average lenght of thread, the end need not be knotted, a long piece is useless for it tangles, wraps around the straws and interferes with the work. Thread four pieces of straw one after another like a necklace by inserting the needle lengthwise. Tie the thread ends and you have a straw "wreath". Do not cut the thread but pull it through two more straws, tie to the opposite end. See figs. 1 and 2. Thread the last two straws pieces ang again secure to the opposite end. Fig 3. Cut 4 pieces of straw, shorter than the first 8, all of which are of equal length, for example, if the first were 3 inches long, these 4 can be 2 inches long. At this point the needle and thread are at the end of the ornament. Fig. 4. Reinsert it through one straw piece so the needle ends in the middle. Fig. 5. Thread one of the newly cut pieces and attach it to the second joint, in the middle. Fig. 6. Do this until all 4 straw pieces are secured. We naw have an elongated or square "box". Everything done subsequently is but a variation or elaboration on this basic figure.
STUMBRAS - THE LARGEST   MAMMAL IN EUROPE

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     The European bison is the laregest mammal in Europe, weighing to 1,000 kilograms. In ancient times they lived throughout southern and  Central Europe, including Lithuania. All three statutes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania 1529, 1566 and 1588 decreed fines for killing the animal. In the 16th century, the poet Hussovianus wrote a long poem in Latin called A Song About the Appearance, Cruelty and Hunting of an Aurochs, describing an animal of a size never been before, between whose horns three men could sit.
     However, the bison was disappearing rapidly, and the last one to live in the wild was shot in the Belovezh Forest in Gudija in 1919. In 1923, the International Association for the Conservation of the European Bison was founded. Its aim was to restore and protect the species from total extinction.
     The restoration of the species began with the bison still lived in zoo  in Europe. The first animals were brought to Lithuanian in 1969 and a reserve was set up in the Panevezys district. The animals born there were introduced into the woods where they began to breed. Now there is a herd of 30 bison living in the wild; another ten live in the reserve.
AMBER - LITHUANIAN GOLD

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     Amber has historically been thought  of as Lithuania's gold. This part of the Baltic has always been a source of the precious aromatic substance so valued by the civilizations of the eastern Mediterranean. Always passed through so many traders's hands, no one was ever really sure where it came from.
     Amber is actually the fossilized resin of pine trees belonging to forests which flourished in this region before the Ice Age around some  35 million years ago. Back then the subtropical climate cultivated trees with an abundance or resin, which eventually seeped from the trees and coagulated on the ground. Insects, plants and the hair of animals were often embedded in the resin, remains of which are now highly valued and of scientific interest. When the Ice Age came, the resin was buried where it hardened into amber, lying in sheets on the bed of what is today the Baltic Sea.
     The substance was mined commercially  in Lithuania for many centuries. Lumps of amber can still be found washed up on the coastal beaches after a storm.
THE LITHUANIAN NATIONAL ANTHEM

   The Lithuanian national anthem was composed by Dr. Vincasw Kudirka. In fact, it was his poem  titled "National Hymn", published in 1898 in the newspaper Varpas edited by Kudirka. At the time (the press ban era) the Lithuanian press published many patriotic  poemsand songs. As they sang the songs and read and recited the poems, Lithuanians understood more deeply and became more conscious of love for their nation and a desire to win freedom.
    when Lithuania became indeoendent, the "National Hymn" was officially proclaimed the National Anthem (1919). Its title was changed to the first three words of the first verse: Lietuva, tėvyne mūsų ("Lithuania, Our Homeland").
TAUTOS HIMNAS
(Žodžiai ir muzika dr. V.Kudirkos)

Lietuva, tėvyne mūsų, tu didvyrių žeme!
Iš praeities tavo sūnūs te stiprybę  semia.
Tegul tavo vaikai eina vien takais dorybės,
Tegul dirba tavo naudai ir žmonių gerybei.

Tegul saulė Lietuvos tamsumus prašalina
Ir šviesa, ir tiesa mūs žingsnius telydi.
Tegul meilė Lietuvosdega mūsų širdyse.
Vardan tos Lietuvos vienybė težydi.
NATIONAL FURNITURE - KRAIČIO SKRYNIA

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My SQL says: Duplicate entry '14302343' for key 'PRIMARY'.
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