Lowland, many scattered small lakes, fertile soil. The fertile central plains are separated by hilly uplands that are ancient glacial deposits. 30% is covered in forest. The highest point is Aukštojas Hill at only 294m 967 ft, about 24km southeast of Vilnius and lying just off the main highway to Minsk and within sight of the Belarus border.
Modern Lithuania gained its independence from Russia in 1918 following World War I and the dissolution of the Czarist monarchy. However, in 1940 Lithuania was forcibly incorporated into the Soviet Union. On 11 March 1990, Lithuania became the first of the Soviet republics to declare its independence, but this proclamation was not generally recognized until September 1991, following the abortive coup in Moscow. The Soviet Union recognized Lithuania's independence on 6 September 1991. A constitution was adopted on 25 October 1992. The last Russian troops withdrew in 1993. Lithuania subsequently has restructured its economy for integration into Western European institutions.
Lithuania has been an active member of the European Union since 1 May 2004) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO since 29 March in that same year.
Lithuania is the only Baltic country with more than eight hundred years of statehood tradition and its name was first mentioned one thousand years ago, in 1009. Wedged at the dividing line of Western and Eastern civilizations, Lithuania battled dramatically for its independence and survival. Once in the Middle Ages 15th century, Lithuania was the largest state in the entire continent of Europe, where crafts and overseas trade prospered.
In 1579, Vilnius University, an important scientific and education centre of the European scale, was opened. In the 16th century, Lithuania adopted its First, Second and Third Statutes. The Statutes were not only the backbone of the legislative system, they also had a major impact on the legislation of other European states of the time. Despite losing its independence, Lithuania managed to retain its Third Statute in force for as many as 250 years, which was instrumental in the preservation of national and civic self-awareness. The Constitution of Poland-Lithuania together with the French Constitution, both adopted in 1791, were the first constitutions in Europe The Polish-Lithuanian constitution was adopted a few months earlier than the French.
Lithuania, first formed in the middle of the 13th century, was a huge feudal country stretching from the Baltic to the Black sea in the middle ages and in 1569 entered into a union with Poland to form a commonwealth.
Lithuania was part of the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth until the Polish Partitions in the 18th century when it became part of the Russian Empire.
15 Aug — superposed and virtually merged with the Pagan holiday called Žolinė Flower Time. It is harvest time when medical herbs, flowers, vegetables and cereals used to be processed through the special rituals during Pagan times, and later they used to be sanctified in churches by Catholic priests. Various Christian and Pagan events are organized in tradicional locations.
Restitution of Independence
11 Mar - restoration of independence from the Soviet Union. Focus on national consciousness and both national and universal values emphasis. Usually various political and cultural debate are organized at various levels and broadcast live across the country. Some official ceremonies take place as well.
6 Jul - commemorates the coronation in 1253 of Mindaugas as the first and only King of Lithuania later rulers of Lithuania were called Grand Dukes. Officially celebrated with all the ceremonies. Additionally, various events with the historical trend are organized and enthusiastically attended: reenactments, jousting, live archaeology events, various concerts. If weather is good there may be traffic jams on all highways closer to the coast.
New Year's Day
1 Jan — typically starts in the evening of previous day the last day of a year like a private party; then, closer to a midnight, people go to the street or square to "meet the New Year" in a crowd. Depending on whether the winter is cold or mild, celebration is either enthusiastic or rather formal. The rest of day is spent like a regular weekend.
Balts Unity Day
22 Sep - commemorates 22 Sep 1236 when the Samogitians and the Semigallians defeated the Knights Of Sword. Various events are organized, especially in Semigallia and eastern Samogitia. Most of events take place near and on the hill forts which are common places alloted for such kind of events all over the country.