Talking to the animals

By | Category: Travel destinations

At Christmas, surely the main purpose is to please and delight children. To do that, parents take them along to pantomimes, to meet Santa at any number of department stores as they try to explain why he is to be found in so many places and on Christmas steam train days.

If you don’t hear animals talk at least you can enjoy Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania

Some take them abroad for Christmas and others book a flight to Lapland in order to see where Santa lives.

Or you could do something completely different.

In Lithuania there are a number of traditions which might appeal to children. One of them is to listen to farm animals speak. Legend has it that you can hear farm animals speak on the night before Christmas. Much better that than another tradition which is that if children don’t go to bed early, they will have to share a meal with their long dead great-great-grandparents.

The advantage of going to Lithuania is that there are flights from many regional airports and that Vilnius – the capital – is an ideal place for a weekend or city break in that it is compact enough to get around easily, there is lots to see and do and it is inexpensive. Compared to the price of some of the supposedly must-have toys that retailers are flaunting at us, a trip to Vilnius could be a better option for an unusual Christmas present.

If you are already settled for Christmas there is another event that takes place in late February which just happens to coincide with when half-term is often held.

On February 25th, children dress up as witches or warlocks, ask strangers to give them pancakes and dance the winter away. As you might suppose from the description, adults take part in this as well.

Me, I prefer an event on June 24th. On this day Lithuanians go in search for the mythical fern flower which, legend says, is guarded by witches. If you manage to find one, you’ll be granted access to immense wealth. Trying to find someone who has been successful and is as rich as Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg is a tough and improbable task so what if you are unlucky and don’t find one?

At least it is more interesting than playing the lottery or doing the pools!

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