In 2023, Lithuania capital Vilnius will celebrate a special 700th anniversary with a string of cultural, musical, and art events for visitors. It includes the summer festival “As Young As Vilnius”, exclusive city-wide opera performances, its already popular light festival, and seven art gifts from the city.

The capital of Lithuania is inviting residents and visitors from around the world to enjoy a special cultural programme to celebrate its 700th anniversary in 2023. This year, on July 25th, the music festival “As Young As Vilnius” marked the six-month countdown to the city’s birthday, featuring many performers and drawing in a crowd of 40,000 spectators. The city is promising to turn the festivities up a notch next year with seven major city-wide art projects and many more immersive events.

Grandiose winter- and summertime parties

January 25th marks the day when Vilnius was mentioned for the very first time in the letters of Gediminas,
written by the Grand Duke of Lithuania, therefore making it the official birthday of the city. In 2023 the special occasion will be celebrated with a special version of the Vilnius Light Festival, already a favourite among visitors.

The UNESCO-listed Old Town and the city centre will be lit with modern light installations, digital media art, and the synthesis of architecture and illumination. The festival is visited by over 200,000 viewers every year, and the birthday show on January 25th-28th is expected to attract even more people.

Vilnius Light Festival 2022© Eitvydas Kinaitis

The 2023 “As Young As Vilnius” show, which included performers like Scottish music star Lewis Capaldi, returns on July 25th m2023. The festival, which is held in honour of St. Christopher, the patron of Vilnius, will become a unique international music arena with an eclectic programme of classical, pop, electronic, and other music. The organisers have promised to make next year’s festival even grander and to wow residents and visitors with exceptional performances and visual effects show.

Art is part of the celebrations

In celebration of the grand anniversary, Vilnius has prepared seven projects. They are birthday gifts of art, music, and interactive history for both residents and visitors.

One of them is linked to the Opera. Connect: Vilnius—A City of Opera project, which has been implemented for three years leading up to 2023. The project united the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre with the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania and the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.

Starting in January, everyone will be invited into the magical world of opera with several city-wide projects
like Opera on Wheels—performances in urban spaces and residential districts, and Opera Art—events in
institutions for socially vulnerable people and prisons. One of the projects’ highlights is the restored performance Alopera dating back to the 17th century.

Among other city gifts, the capital’s guests and residents will be able to admire Vilnius in the 18th and 19th century at the Lithuanian National Museum’s project Pavilion. the exhibition is titled “Vilnius 200 Years
Ago”. Thanks to modern technologies—lighting, sound, visual projections, and augmented reality— the
specially designed pavilion will depict Vilnius reborn in its past glory. The interactive features will allow getting a glimpse into how the city’s topography and buildings, society, and culture changed over time.

For professionals interested to learn more about the anniversary program in 2023, a dedicated official website is available. Learn more about Vilnius at the Lithuania booth at ITB Berlin 2023.

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