Celebrate Midsummer Day (Joninės) in Lithuania in 2024

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Lithuanians celebrating traditional Midsummer Day Festival (Joninės) in Vilnius, Lithuania

Midsummer Day – Saint Jonas’ Festival – Joninės

Midsummer Day, also known as Summer Solstice or Saint Jonas’ Festival – or simply as Joninės in Lithuanian, is a Baltic festival taking place on 24th June. Dating back to pagan times, it is a celebration of the longest day of the year, marking the start of astronomical summer – season of maturity.

Where to Celebrate Midsummer Day Festival (Joninės) in Lithuania in 2024

Lithuanian girl with a Midsummer Day (Joninės) festival wreath and traditional clothing sitting on a hill in Kernavė, Lithuania.

Midsummer Day (Joninės) in Kernavė

DATES: 23 June
DURATION: 18 to 24 hours
LOCATION: Kernavė, Lithuania

ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE: Celebrate Midsummer Day festival (Joninės in Lithuanian) in Kernavė – the capital of all traditional Midsummer Day festivals.

Accompanied by our local guides from Baltic Gently group, you will get an opportunity to participate in all Midsummer Day activities as well as the main feast, set out on the hills towering over Neris River.

You will get a chance to celebrate the Summer Solstice festival just like our ancestors did centuries ago. You will join others and take part in crafting flower garlands (a head decoration that is a must-have on this night of the year!) with freshly plucked flowers from the nearby hills, share food and beverages as well as sing and dance around the bonfire until the dawn.

Most importantly, our guides will help you to discover and understand the enchanting meanings of all the rites as well as experience the magic of celebrating the shortest night of the year with a group of like-minded people!

Additionally, the traditional goods fair remains open all day long, presenting you with an opportunity to experience the charm of handmade goods and get a souvenir or two to remind you of this magical night for years to come!

EXPERIENCE INCLUDES: Local guide, introductory tour, traditional picnic and traditional activities (songs, dances, rites and flower wreath workshop)

AVAILABLE ON REQUEST: Transportation, accommodation, private tours and various extra services

BOOK BEFORE MAY 1st for an early bird discount with code EarlyBird24!

Dew Holiday (Rasos) in Vilnius

DATES: 21 to 23 June
DURATION: 18 to 24 hours
LOCATION: Kernavė, Lithuania

ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE: Dew Holiday or Rasos in Lithuanian is another name for Midsummer Day festival, usually frequented by those who are focused on preserving the authentic Baltic pagan traditions. Every year these “last remaining pagans” meet in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, to hold a Midsummer Day celebration just as their ancestors did centuries ago.

If you have limited time and are unable to let yourself loose in prolonged Midsummer Day festivals elsewhere, Dew Holiday or Rasos is the best alternative there is! And if you do become enchanted by local festivities, you can always extend the celebration for as long as you wish!

It takes only 15 minutes of travel from the city center to reach the site of Dew Holiday celebration. One of our local guides will meet and greet you to ensure that you experience at least a few magical hours of one of the shortest nights of the year.

Our team members from Baltic Gently will gladly teach you authentic ritual dances as well as a form of polyphonic music – sutartinės (based on our experience, it takes only fifteen minutes of learning for you to be able to join in song with everyone else!).

If you prefer to enjoy the festivities from the sidelines, you can always delight in some traditional delicacies from lunch baskets while learning all there is to know about local folklore.

All in all, Vilnius provides a convenient opportunity to experience all that Midsummer Day Festival has to offer for those short on time!

EXPERIENCE INCLUDES: Local guide, introductory tour, traditional picnic and traditional activities (songs, dances, rites and so on)

AVAILABLE ON REQUEST: Transportation, accommodation, private tours and various extra services

BOOK BEFORE MAY 1st for an early bird discount with code EarlyBird24!

People standing in a circle around a pagan Baltic altar, celebrating Midsummer Day Festival (Joninės) in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Barefoot girl in traditional Lithuanian clothing running on the shore of Baltic Sea in Lithuania.

Midsummer Day (Joninės) in Palanga

DATES: 23 June
DURATION: 18 to 24 hours
LOCATION: Palanga, Lithuania

ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE: Celebrate the Midsummer Day festival (Joninės) together with locals in Palanga, on the shore of Baltic Sea. With the guidance from Baltic Gently guides, your group is guaranteed to experience all the marvels this shortest night of the year has to offer!

This option presents a great combination indeed: you’ll get to enjoy the Baltic Sea, a small seaside town of Palanga and most importantly – a truly authentic Baltic way of celebrating the Midsummer Day festival.

Some of the activities you can expect include:

  • Collection of herbs for authentic rituals held at sunset
  • Participation in traditional fortune telling rituals
  • Crafting flower garlands (a head decoration that is a must-have on this night of the year!) with freshly plucked flowers
  • Learning and participating in a form of polyphonic music – sutartinės (based on our experience, it takes only fifteen minutes to be able to join everyone else in song!).
  • Learning and participating in traditional dances around the bonfire
  • Snacking from traditional lunch baskets
  • And many more…

Our team members will ensure that this shortest night of the year will be an unforgettable and truly magical experience. Join us in discovering the beauty and meaning of the Midsummer Day festival together!

EXPERIENCE INCLUDES: Local guide, introductory tour, traditional picnic and traditional activities (songs, dances, rites and flower wreath workshop)

AVAILABLE ON REQUEST: Transportation, accommodation, private tours and various extra services

BOOK BEFORE MAY 1st for an early bird discount with code EarlyBird24!

Other Midsummer Day Festival (Joninės) Experiences for 2024

Midsummer Day Festival (Joninės) flower wreath floating on water in Nina, Lithuania.

Midsummer Day (Joninės) in Nida

Dates TBC

Nida is the queen of all seaside resorts, renowned for an enchanting atmosphere all year round. While historically Nida Region has been heavily influenced by Germans, authentic Baltic traditions persevered to this day.

Type: Cultural Heritage

Authenticity rate: 7

Things to note: National Park and Ferry have a separate fee. Hard to get an accommodation.

To do list: Amber museum, Thomas Mann museum, Parnidis dune, Old cemetery, Nida lighthouse, sea activities

Distance: 360km (5h drive) from Vilnius

Guide: Recommended for best experience

Tour: Individual, available on request

BOOK BEFORE MAY 1st for an early bird discount with code EarlyBird24!

Traditional Midsummer Day (Joninės) gates decorated with flowers and leaves on Summer Solstice eve in Rumšiškės, Lithuania.

Midsummer Day (Joninės) in Rumšiškės

24th June

Rumšiškės is an open air ethnographic museum, located only 20 kilometers from Kaunas. Celebrating the Midsummer Day festival here is guaranteed to be memorable: from authentic rituals, songs and dances to the exploration of a park that spans 2 square kilometers and is situated right next to the calming waters of Kaunas Lagoon.

Permeated with the authentic atmosphere, Rumšiškės offers an unique opportunity to experience how local countrymen celebrated the Summer Solstice in ages past.

Type: Cultural Heritage

Authenticity rate: 9

Things to note: Entry fee, limited public transportation

To do list: Hiking trails within the museum territory, traditional architecture, exile yurt, amazing treats in Arbatinė

Distance: 80km from Vilnius, 20km from Kaunas

Guide: Recommended for best experience

Tour: Individual, available on request

BOOK BEFORE MAY 1st for an early bird discount with code EarlyBird24!

Lithuanians sitting in a circle around a bonfire at night, celebrating Summer Solstice (Joninės) in Lithuania.

Midsummer Day (Joninės) in Hidden Hamlets

Available on Request

Lithuania is dotted with numerous spectacular locations, where the Midsummer Day festival is celebrated by small local communities. Many of these festival sites have no advertisements and the only way of finding them is word of mouth. But don’t let that dismay you! The local communities will warmly welcome anyone who wishes to join in.

This is the most unique way to celebrate Summer Solstice, allowing each guest to become an important part of the festival and take the center stage together with all the locals.

Type: Cultural Heritage

Authenticity rate: 8-10

Things to note: No entry fees, limited public transportation, difficult to find

To do list: Various, depending on the location

Distance: Depends on the location

Guide: Strongly recommended

Tour: Individual, available on request

BOOK BEFORE MAY 1st for an early bird discount with code EarlyBird24!

How Lithuanians Celebrate Midsummer Day (Joninės) and Dew Holiday (Rasos)

Midsummer Day (Joninės) Traditions and Rituals

Midsummer Day festival (Joninės) has many traditions that have remained unchanged throughout the ages. Even when Christianity came to Lithuania and the Summer Solstice celebration merged with Saint Jonas’ festival, the rituals stayed pretty much the same. Many of them have to do with fortune telling and improving one’s health – be sure to try at least a few of them while on the shortest night of the year!

  • Pick wild flowers in the morning to make a flower wreath for yourself to wear during the evening celebration. Family members and friends usually present a wreath made from oak leaves as a name day present to people named Jonas or Janina.
  • Wash your face before walking through Summer Solstice gate.
  • Sing traditional songs from a special repertoire, the most common of which are “Oi Ta-Ta” and “Kupole Roze”.
  • Observe the sunset and let go of all negative thoughts.
  • Jump over the bonfire. This can be done alone or together with your partner. Either way, traditional belief is that this will bring you good health.
  • Try to land your personal flower wreath on a tree-trunk to see if you have a chance of marriage this year.
  • Float your personal flower wreath in water at midnight.
  • Search the local forests for a magical fern flower that is said to imbue its founder with magical powers.
  • Wash your body with morning dew on the morning after Midsummer festivities.
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Photos from Midsummer Day (Joninės) Celebrations

Lithuanians in a group passing through Midsummer Day Festival (Joninės) gates, decorated with flowers and leaves in Lithuania.
Girl, surrounded by Lithuanians dressed in traditional clothing, ritualistically washes her face before passing through Midsummer Day (Joninės) gates in Lithuania
Tall bonfire burning at night during Saint Jonas festival (Joninės) in Lithuania.

What Do You Eat on Midsummer Day (Joninės)

As there is plenty of action during the Midsummer day festival, it is recommended to prepare a traditional picnic well in advance. Traditionally, all forms of dairy products are the most popular since the cattle already had plenty of fresh green grass to feed upon by this time in summer. However, if you’re lactose-intolerant or just looking for other options – there are plenty to choose from:

  • Cottage cheese
  • Fermented milk
  • Natural yogurt
  • Strawberries
  • Garden cucumbers with honey
  • Smoked meats, served on black rye bread
  • Boiled fresh potatoes with sour cream butter (kastinys)

Most popular drinks on Midsummer Day (Joninės) include:

  • Fermented birch sap
  • Rye bread kvass (gira)
  • Lithuanian craft beer
Get Your Traditional Picnic Ready – Request a Quote

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    Egle Gal

    Founder & Tour Director

    Travel manager and founder of Baltic Gently, Egle Gal in Nida, Lithuania.

    "Planning journeys can be scary - you simply never know where or how to start. That's why we offer free initial consultations - to help you get started on what is guaranteed to become an unforgettable experience!"