The Mystery of Vilnius’ Christmas Tree

The Christmas trees of Vilnius are famous for their original themes, unique decorations and magical atmosphere. For many years now, the Lithuanian capital’s Christmas tree has been recognised as one of the most beautiful in the world. It even dictates fashion trends globally.

Instead of inviting the masses to a magical Christmas town like in the past, this year it has been designed to be safely admired at a distance. While the outside is modern, the inside of the installation reveals a traditional tree assuring everyone that, notwithstanding the changes brought by the pandemic, the Christmas spirit, like always, stays the same.

2022: The Jubilee Tree

Vilnius is 700 years old in 2023. The occasion was special, so the Christmas tree had to be special too - an elegant three-storey anniversary cake was erected in the city's main square and decorated with 700 candles. At the centre of the composition was a Christmas tree decorated with golden toys and sparkling garlands. Throughout the month, the tree delighted and amazed Vilnius residents and visitors, inviting them to celebrate Vilnius' 700th birthday in 2023.

2021 Tree - Queen of Winter

Enchanting and sparkling, bringing white winter and bright Christmas cheer - that's this year's Vilnius Christmas tree in Cathedral Square. Inspired by the beauty of winter nature and the patterns of real snowflakes, the illuminated tree features a swirl of 96 snowflakes, white spruce trees and mirrored surfaces that have been magnified more than 1,000 times, in different sizes and patterns. A huge Christmas star shining at the top arouses curiosity and hope.

The modern Christmas tree of 2020 

Christmas felt surreal in 2020 with people spending the festive season indoors, but the Christmas tree in Vilnius kept its magic alive, setting the mood and spreading joy both in Cathedral Square and online! The tree’s design captured social distancing extremely well, but still managed to bring people together for the Christmas season. The traditional symbol became an embodiment of Vilnius – modern and creative, yet able to keep traditions at heart. 

Christmas tree 2019 – Chess

Last year, the Christmas tree checkmated all others around the world and was awarded the honour of most beautiful tree in Europe. Like a queen in a royal blue dress and silver cloak, the Christmas tree took on a chess theme. Nestled between the Cathedral Bell Tower and Gediminas’ Tower, and guarded by rows of pawns, the Christmas tree caught the attention of the whole world.

Its theme perfectly reflected the connection between modern life and history – chess was a popular game among the nobility and the rulers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania when Vilnius was first founded.

Christmas tree 2018 – Time

The Christmas tree of 2018 reminded everyone about the passing of time. It featured a stylised clock that could be seen from the Cathedral Bell Tower as well as an unforgettable sight on the ground – you could tell the time by looking at the lights of the Christmas tree. Moving clock gear-snowflakes pulsated at the pace of the respective clock gear and stopped briefly every 15 minutes, while the Christmas tree itself flashed every hour, corresponding with the time of day. It was also named among world’s the top ten most beautiful trees.

Christmas tree 2017 – Purple

The Christmas tree sheltered the entire Christmas village under its cloak of 70,000 bulbs and 900 decorations, creating a cosy atmosphere. The Christmas tree’s purple colour was a bold choice, as it is not normally a popular colour for Christmas decorations in Lithuania. A winning combination! This Christmas tree was recognised as the most beautiful in Europe.

Christmas tree 2016 – Emerald

It almost seemed as though the emerald Christmas tree, hiding under a shimmering cloak of 50,000 bulbs, was floating above Cathedral Square. The tree itself was 27 metres tall and the total width of its composition was 50 metres. The entire Christmas village shone bright and the unique tree captivated the world – it appeared on The Huffington Post’s list of the world’s most beautiful trees.

Christmas tree 2015 – The world as one home

This was the first Christmas tree in Vilnius where you could go inside and enjoy listening to Lithuanian fairy tales. The Christmas tree invited people to remember this magical season during their childhood and imagine a cosy fairy tale house. Snow-covered roofs, cosy lights illuminating windows and even a balcony reflected the main theme – the world is one home. The Guardian and The Huffington Post put the Christmas tree on their lists of the most beautiful Christmas trees in the world, and the original idea was copied by other cities around the world the following year.

Worth to check

Worth to check

The Miracle of Christmas Gifts
The Miracle of Christmas Gifts

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Tasting Christmas One Dish at a Time
Tasting Christmas One Dish at a Time

There are over 100 Lithuanian Christmas Eve dishes.

Winter activities in Vilnius
Winter activities in Vilnius

You say it’s gloomy, cold and dark outside during this winter period? Then we say there’s no need to be sad, because you can find oodles of outdoor and indoor activities in Vilnius that will lift your spirits and give you all the energy you need!