In short

Kaziuko mugė or Saint Casimir's Fair is a large annual fair of folk arts and crafts in Vilnius, Lithuania, dating from the early 17th century. The fair is traditionally held in the markets and streets of the city on the Sunday closest to March 4 (the feast of Saint Casimir), the anniversary of the death of Saint Casimir. In Lithuanian, Kaziukas is a diminutive of Casimir.

Saint Casimir

The Saint Casimir fair

Saint Casimir, son of the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Casimir IV, was canonized in 1602. Alongside the celebrations of his feast day, merchants established a fair. In 1827 they received the privilege of holding the fair on Cathedral Square. In 1901, after the unveiling of a monument to Catherine the Great on Cathedral Square, the fair was moved to Lukiškės Square. In Soviet times, the fair was held at the Kalvarijos market.

En 1991, il est revenu dans la vieille ville de Vilnius. Il a d’abord eu lieu dans la rue Pilies, mais s’est depuis développé pour s’étendre sur l’avenue Gediminas, traverser la place de la cathédrale et se ramifier dans la rue Pilies, la rue B. Radvilaitės, en passant devant l’église Sainte-Anne et la cathédrale orthodoxe du Theotokos, et dans le Quartier de Tymas sur la rive gauche de la rivière Vilnia près d’Užupis.

In recent years, the fair has expanded to other cities in Lithuania, including Kaunas (at Laisvės alėja and Town Hall Square), Alytus, Klaipėda. Similar festivals called Kaziuki are also held in several cities in Poland, e.g. in Lidzbark Warmiński, Olsztyn, Szczecin, Gdańsk and Poznań, as well as in Hrodna, Belarus, the city where Saint Casimir died. A smaller version of the fair is also organized by Lithuanian communities abroad, notably inside the Lithuanian World Center in Lemont, Illinois.

Arts and crafts at the fair include handmade products by local artisans, such as woven and knitted clothing, shoes, toys, utensils, pots and jugs, jewelry, souvenirs and paints. Traditional food items include rye bread, bubliks, gingerbread, natural honey, beer, gira and colorfully packaged hard candies. Trades represented include wood carvers, blacksmiths, potters, weavers and knitters, wicker weavers.

Easter palm trees (Lithuanian: verbos) are one of the specialties of the fair. They are made of colorful dried wild flowers and herbs (around 150 different varieties of plants are used) tied around a wooden stick. Traditionally, they were taken to churches on Palm Sunday. Verba has become a traditional symbol of spring and Easter.

Another flagship product of the fair, the Coeur de Casimir, a heart-shaped gingerbread decorated with patterns and sugar figures (flowers, zigzags, birds, etc.) or popular first names. People buy them to give to their loved ones. It is customary to bring some back to those who were unable to attend.

Social networks

Today, Lithuanians celebrate Saint Casimir or Kaziuko mugė. This Kaziukas Day is marked with traditional music, dances and art in honor of Grand Duke Casimir, patron saint of Lithuania. #mythology #myth #legend #calendar #4March #saintcasimir #lithuania

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Saint Casimir