Chasing Winter Off in Plateliai
‘Žiema, žiema, bėk iš kiemo’ [Winter, winter, get out of the yard’] are the words used by Lithuanians to chase off winter and greet spring. To make it scarier, they dress up in masks made of wood, untreated sheepskin, braided materials or paper. Masks were made for one celebration only and were burned after the Mardi Gras. No one would wear the mask twice because the biggest surprise was to find out who was hiding behind the mask.
The unique Mardi Gras Museum in Plateliai Manor stables features nearly 300 masks. You will not find another such museum in Lithuania or the neighbouring countries.
Celebrating Mardi Gras in Plungė has become a tradition. It is when the masks come to life, the fires light up in Plungė manor, the smell of pancakes spreads, and the songs of Mardi Gras and games are played. Don’t have a mask? Don’t worry – you will be able to make one right here, with the help of mask masters during a workshop session.