Do you want to turn a dark winter night into a trip to a wonderland? Holiday lights have a special magic that can make this dream come true. The Asian lanterns of the Pakruojis manor light festival tell a slightly different story than the one we are used to hearing at Christmas.It's a story that will warm you up - about dragons, tigers, and the sound of drums. But there is also a reindeer and a decorated Christmas tree hiding somewhere there. And if it's hard to convince yourself to drive such a long distance just for one evening - do as I did and combine a visit to Pakruojis with a small excursion to Šiauliai.
What to see in Šiauliai?
Before the sun has set and the lanterns are lit in Pakruojis, we will take a short detour through Šiauliai.
Cats on the ceiling.
Cats on the walls. Cats behind glass.
And six real cats, lazily lounging on the cat beds, hiding behind flower pots, and stroking at your feet.
The first kitty we met at the cash desk was the Director. He was cooing sweetly in the warmest place on the radiator.But when the guests arrived, of course, he had to get up and walk around the property to control the situation.
Meanwhile, the other kitty tried to sneak into the next room where the birds were. In that room, there is a small zoowhere you can see other animals - rabbits, snakes, snails, hamsters... And a very talkative parrot that says Good day in Lithuanian. These animals live in cages, though. Which, of course, causes mixed feelings.
If you really like cats, you will probably like this temple of cat fame, where all the decorations, paintings, and figurines depict cats.
And if you are not a cat person - there are several other museums in Šiauliai. You can visit one of them instead of the cat museum. The only drawback - museums are closed on Sundays. Therefore, to gain some knowledge, you need to plan your visit to the museums on Friday or Saturday before visiting the Pakruojis Lantern Festival.
What is hidden in the heart of the Šiauliai iron fox?
Location on the map.
It's a photo spot you can find in the very center of the city. Near the lake, there is a large, beautiful iron fox sculpture. The internet told me that there is a capsule in the fox's heart, which has been engraved with a message for future generations. Now you will have a story to impress your fellow travelers. What do you think could be written there?
There is also an energy maze made of stones nearby.
Šiauliai city center - St. Cathedral of Apostles Peter and Paul and Šiauliai boulevard
After taking a picture with the fox, you can take a short walk to the city center. Follow the tower of the church. Pass by the column with the golden archer sculpture at the end. That, by the way, is a large sundial.
When you have conquered the high stairs, you will reach St. Cathedral of the Apostles Peter and Paul. Snow suits this beautiful building very well. In theory, white and white should blend, but I'd say that this time, the white makes the white stand out. We did not go inside because there was a service happening there.
And then you can walk to Šiauliai boulevard. You will find some small interesting details there. If you look up, you will find cat sculptures on the roof. This seems to be a very cat-friendly city.
But everyone knows that walking is more exciting if you know something interesting about the place. Did you know that Šiauliai was the third place in Europe to convert one of the city's central streets from a street intended for cars to a pedestrian street? (source)
Pakruojis manor lantern festival - really a walk in wonderland
Pakruojis manor location on the map.
Lantern festival ticket prices and working hours. In 2022. you can enjoy the adventure on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays till 8th of January.
Pakruojis manor light festival, similar to Christmas lights, tells the story of the victory of light over darkness. But in a slightly different way. You will find dragons in the courtyard of the manor. And all the animals of the Chinese zodiac welcome you at the entrance. Don't forget to take a photo with the one representing your year!
Surprise in addition to Asian lanterns, you will also find statues decorated with light strings, Christmas trees, carousels for children, and a slope on which the bravest slide with sleds. Let's go explore the fairy tale!
Let's go explore the fairy tale!
What surprised me in Pakruojis light festival the most
You are exploring and looking at the lights. On one side, there is a decorative peacock. On the other, there are animated flower projections on the manor building. How beautiful! And suddenly, you see a camel. Horses and carts in such a place did not surprise me, but I did not expect camels to lead children on rides here.
But a bit more on the point - the pandas with the little panda babies are super cute. You almost want to hug and pet them.
And I would definitely recommend going to the island where the lights dance. Dream catchers and hammocks are hanging there, and the little moving sparkles of light resemble fireflies. Correction - fireflies in Christmas costumes because the lights are colored. This island is truly dreamy.
Also, you are given a unique opportunity to pass through a crocodile's stomach and remain in one piece.
Pakruojis manor festival fair
A walk in a winter wonderland is unthinkable without a warm cup of tea or mulled wine. One needs to warm up those frozen fingers somehow. These special winter "soups" can be bought at several stalls straight from the steaming pots.
But tummies (or eyes) can be pleased with various delicacies. We saw interesting cheeses, halva, and cookies in the shape of mushrooms, chestnuts, and corn cobs. And of course also our own Latvian candies.
The ancient buildings of Pakruojis manor
In addition to the Asian lanterns, at the Pakruojis manor festival, you can also visit some of the buildings in the manor complex. Such as a distillery, where you can see some strange apparatus. Do you know what this is? But quite frankly, I longed to see the history a bit more. But since the purpose of this trip was the lanterns, which there were plenty of, it was quickly forgotten.
But quite frankly, I longed to see the history a bit more. But since the purpose of this trip was the lanterns, which there were plenty of, it was quickly forgotten.
First of all, this was a great start to the holiday season. But it might as well be a perfect closure to it. Although the Christmas theme is peaking around the corner, most of the lanterns are reflecting more exotic warmer themes (what could be hotter than a dragon?). Secondly, I must say that I got more than I expected - the territory is spacious. And when it seems that everything has been seen, it turns out there is still some corner that has not been discovered. I recommend it.
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