#1 Best Guide: Independence Restoration Day In Lithuania

Scratching your head whenever someone asks about the Independence Restoration Day? Well, now you can finally learn EVERYTHING about it in this post. Read on!

When you think about Europe, you probably envision popular cities like London, Paris, Berlin, and more. But did you know that’s not all there is to Europe? There are also the under-the-radar Baltic States, comprised of three countries—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania! 

In this article, we’re zooming in on Lithuania in particular. With approximately two million people, it’s a relatively small nation that’s surrounded by much bigger ones like Sweden, Poland, Russia, and more! But while Lithuania may be an independent nation now, did you know that it hasn’t always been this way? 

That’s why I’ll be telling you the story of how Independence Restoration Day in Lithuania came to be and how Lithuania came to be part of the Baltic States alongside Estonia and Latvia! And while I’m at it, I’ll be teaching you a few simple Lithuanian phrases, too, just in case you plan a trip there!

An image of Independence Restoration Day celebration

What Is Independence Restoration Day?

As you may’ve guessed from its name, Independence Restoration Day is Lithuania’s Independence Day! Celebrated on March 11th, it commemorates the day the Supreme Council of the Lithuanian SSR signed the Act of the Re-establishment of the State of Lithuania, the 1990 declaration that officially made Lithuania an independent state. That’s not too long ago, which means Lithuania is a relatively young nation! 

Why is Independence Day so important to Lithuanians, you may ask? Well, that’s because the road to independence wasn’t easy.

In 1940, during World War II, Lithuania fell under the control of the Soviet Union. It was then occupied by Nazi Germany in 1941, only to fall into the hands of the Soviet Union again in 1944. As you can see, this period marked a harrowing chapter in Lithuania’s journey to independence as the nation faced repeated occupations and challenges to its sovereignty.

Even so, these adversities hadn’t fazed or dampened the spirits of the Lithuanians one bit. They fought for independence from as early as when they were still being occupied by the Soviet Union, resorting to measures like inciting guerrilla strifes and rallies at Cathedral Square. 

It took decades before Lithuania could finally reverse its control under the Soviet Union, but it didn’t give up. At last, the first free and democratic election to the Supreme Council of the Lithuanian SSR took place on February 24th, 1990. The subsequent Act that was signed restored independence, which was declared a national holiday. 

This removal of the Soviet Union’s control and thus the restoration of independence after so many years of fighting is the very reason why Lithuanians celebrate their Independence Day and democracy so proudly and dearly. 

An image of people holding Lithuanian flags

How To Celebrate Independence Restoration Day

Considering the series of events that occurred prior to independence, it makes sense why the celebration for Independence Restoration Day is rather solemn. Every March 11th, a parliamentary meeting among the government takes place at the hall where the Act was declared. 

But this meeting isn’t the only thing happening on this special day, which has been decreed a holiday under the Law of Holidays. In addition to remembering and paying respects to the Act, Lithuania celebrates by hosting a series of parades, concerts, and exhibitions in its capital, Vilnius. 

Lithuanians kick off the day by laying flowers at the Zinia Monument in Independence Square. This is followed by a meeting at the hall, where young and promising researchers are also awarded state scholarships. Thus, the day marks both independence and economic progress for the nation. 

Activities, workshops, and exhibitions for kids and adults are held before the noon flag-raising ceremony. The flags of all three Baltic States—Estonia, Latvia, and, of course, Lithuania—are raised at Independence Square. 

After this, a procession known as “Road to Restoring Independence” pays homage to Lithuania’s struggle for independence. It’s held along Gediminas Avenue, starting from Independence Square and ending at Cathedral Square. 

At 1 pm, a mass is held at Vilnius Cathedral Basilica, which is situated in Vilnius Old Town and is the main Catholic cathedral in Lithuania. After this, the events and exhibitions continue until the end of the day. As you can see, Lithuanians really cherish the freedom they’ve fought so hard for and hold it extremely close to their hearts. 

An image of a big Lithuanian flag draping over people

Easy Lithuanian Phrases For Independence Restoration Day

Intrigued? Now that you’ve learned more about Lithuania’s independence, here are some Lithuanian phrases that may come in handy should you decide to visit Vilnius! 

Freedom and independence!Laisvė ir nepriklausomybė!
Long live the ideals of Lithuanian freedom!Gyvūs Lietuvos laisvės idealai!
Congratulations on Independence Day!Sveikiname su Nepriklausomybės diena!
Honor to Lithuania!Garbė Lietuvai!
Heroic Lithuania!Didvyriška Lietuva!
May Lithuania be free forever!Tebūna Lietuva laisva amžinai!
Happy birthday to the state!Su valstybės gimimo diena!
For Lithuania’s happiness!Laimei Lietuvai!
Long live Lithuania’s independence!Tegyvuoja Lietuvos nepriklausomybė!
Our nation, our state!Mūsų tauta, mūsų valstybė!

Ready To Experience Independence Restoration Day? 

I hope the story of Lithuania and its restoration of independence has inspired you to pick up some Lithuanian, too. You can easily do so with the Ling app, which specializes in Eastern European and Asian languages! With its comprehensive range of lessons, you’ll be able to communicate with Lithuanians in a snap.

Till next time, Viso Gero (goodbye in Lithuanian)!

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