National symbols of Lithuania

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One of the most popular Lithuanian folk art wood
carvings is Pensive Christ, sitting with his head
supported by his hand . The facial expression implies
contemplation and worry.
Shrove Tuesday is the last Tuesday before Lent. A
major element of this festival is the defeat of winter.
The making of masks is an inseparable part of Shrove
Tuesday. The masks are supposed to scare the winter
away.
The rue is the unofficial national flower of Lithuania.
The rue, the wreath of rue, became the symbol of
virginity. A bride traditionally wears a little crown of rue
on her wedding day. Later it is burned symbolising
entrance into adulthood. Most Lithuanian gardens
contain this flower.
Cottage cheese may be sweet, sour, seasoned with
caraway, fresh, or cured until semi-soft. The most popular
way of eating Lithuanian non-fermented white cheese is
with fresh honey. It has been enrolled into the list of
protectable products of the EU.
Amber is nicknamed "Lithuanian gold", known since
prehistoric times. The origins of Baltic amber are linked with
the Lithuanian legend about JuratÄ—, the queen of the sea, who
fell in love with Kastytis, a fisherman. Her father punished his
daughter by destroying her amber palace and changing her
into sea foam. The pieces of the JuratÄ—’s palace can still be
found on the Baltic shore.
Worshipping of oak trees comes from pagan times,
when they were of religious significance. It is a symbol
of power and strength . It also symbolises immortality
and longevity. A wreath of oak leaves is given for
victories in sport and on other occasions – name-days,
jubilees.
Sashes are used as a waist girdle in the national costume
and also to make women's headpieces. At present sashes
are used to honour people on the occasion of their
birthdays, or to welcome an honourable guest. Sashes
were also used on funeral wreaths instead of ribbons.
Black rye bread is the cornerstone of Lithuanian
cuisine and deeply embedded in the culture. Such bread
with salt is frequently used for greeting people on
occasions or newlyweds on the wedding day coming
back from church. Many emigrants from Lithuania
often say that this bread is the thing they miss most.
Flax has been grown in Lithuania from around 2000 BC.
Linen was probably the only fabric used for clothing. The
importance of linen can be seen in the folk songs. People
sang songs on every occasion, including the seeding and
cutting of flax and weaving of linen. Flax seeds and oil
are used for food and they have healing powers.
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