Trakai Local Customs

  • BY  GALVE  LAKE
    BY GALVE LAKE
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  • PRINCE'S COSTUME
    PRINCE'S COSTUME
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  • PRINCE ?
    PRINCE ?
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Best Rated Local Customs in Trakai

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    Old flag of Trakai

    by matcrazy1 Updated Aug 21, 2004

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    This flag/ensign, on my picture, was displayed in the Trakai Castle historical exposition. There was written in Latin there: thanks God, King of Poland, Great Duke of Lithuania Sigismundus III. Add Polish word "Trocka" which was adjective of Trakai. This was a flag of Trakai castle's knights/troops from 17th century. And it was traditional flags used by knights of Trakai who formed Trakai company of cavalry which took part in the battle of Grunwald in 1410 when mainly Polish and Lithuanian knights defeated knights of the Teutonic Order.

    OLD  FLAG  OF  TRAKAI OLD COAT OF ARMS OLD COAT OF ARM OLD COAT OF ARM OLD COAT OF ARMS
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    Basketball + beer = friendship

    by matcrazy1 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    I saw a lot of gifts and souvenirs referred to basketball sold in Trakai and generally in Lithuania. There were T-shirts with Lithuanian basketball players, with beer mug and inscription: "Vilnius = friends forever".

    Well, my recommendation, is to get to know more about Lithuanian basketball (follow the link below), before you go to Lithuania. Unfortunately, I was ignorant on that subject when I was talking with my young friends in Vilnius :-(. They were proud of great succeses of Lithuanian basketball. I think that basketball was very good topic to start talking with esp. young locals. I could say: beer + basketball = friendship in Lithuania.

    BASKETBALL  AND  BEER  T-SHIRTS LITHUANIAN T-SHIRT :-) T-SHIRTS
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    Vytis? What's that?

    by matcrazy1 Written Aug 21, 2004

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    This flag, on my picture, was displayed in the castle historical exposition. A knight mounted on a charging horse was called the Vytis which meant "hero" in Lithuanian language. This symbol was introduced to Lithuaniam history by King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Jogiella (Jagiello). He ordered by a decree (1366) that a white "Vytis" placed in to a red field became official flag of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. More: click here, please.

    The Vytis means "Pogon" in Polish language and it's present in Poland till now. For example it is a name of popular football team: Pogon Szczecin. Well, the two cultures Polish and Lithuanian influenced one each other a lot in the past.

    FLAG  OF  GRAND  DUCHY  OF  LITHUANIA
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    Karaims - Visit here!

    by Toshioohsako Updated Dec 22, 2007

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    Kinesa - Karaims, a minority religious group, worships here. The origin of the minority group seems to open to different interpretations, so I recommend viewers of this tip to open "Karaims in Trakai in Lithuania" site.

    Direction: go on the main road 2-3 minutes from Trakai castle toward the city center. on your right side: Address: Karaimu 30.

    Karaims' Kenesa Playing in Kenesa Playing in Kenesa

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    Did I meet a prince?

    by matcrazy1 Written Aug 21, 2004

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    Walking along street stalls on southern bank of Galve Lake, I met this guy on my picture. He was dressed like an old prince, I suppose. Look at his numerous orders and his decorative sabre/sword. I didn't see any more locals in historical costume dresses in Trakai.

    PRINCE ? PRINCE'S COSTUME PRINCE ?
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    Lithuanian nurses and immigration

    by matcrazy1 Written Aug 21, 2004

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    I saw these funny figures of Lithuanian nurses sold in local gift store, located at the southern bank of Gatve Lake, just north of the entrance to the wooden bridge leading to the castle on the island. Map here.

    I was told that, most of Lithuanian nurses will immigrate to western Europe soon. Their salaries were very low in Lithuania. Lithuanian public health service was still... Soviet in style in 2004: state-owned and under-paid, mostly poorly equipped with very, very low salaries of medical staff. Hmm... like mostly in my country Poland where 70% of young doctors think over immigration.

    LITHUANIAN  NURSES
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    Guard of a toilet/restroom

    by matcrazy1 Updated Aug 22, 2004

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    There was a public toilet (WC/restroom) in the northwestern corner of a yard of Trakai forecastle. Hmm... this woman on my picture guarded the toilet. So, better not to forget to pay for using it. These toilet-women were common in my country, Poland, say, 10 years ago, but luckily they didn't survive. Well, there are a few maybe - not so easy to find nowadays.

    GUARDED  ENTRANCE  TO  A  TOILET :-) GUARDED  ENTRANCE  TO  A  TOILET :-)
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    No benches?

    by matcrazy1 Updated Aug 19, 2004

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    I was walking around Trakai, both at very touristy area close to the castle and in off the beaten path areas... And there were very few benches to sit down and relax. Maybe it's temporary custom... Trakai seems to change fast recently. Or maybe the owners of a few restaurants by Galve Lake wanted to "trap" the visitors with their benches and tables. Not that bad option, by the way... if you find a place there at lunch time...

    BY  GALVE  LAKE BY  GALVE  LAKE
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    Lions in Trakai?

    by matcrazy1 Written Aug 22, 2004

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    There were many hunting trophies displayed in the Trakai Castle Museum, in the Western Casemates of the Castle to be more exact. There were foxes, deers, bears, wild boars and smaller mammals. Add this... lion, on my picture. Did they hunt it in forests around Trakai? Well, surely not :-). Lion was and still is a symbol of strong power and that's why rulers of the castle bought or were given it, I suppose.

    LION  IN  TRAKAI  CASTLE
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    The oldest symbol of Lithuania

    by matcrazy1 Written Aug 21, 2004

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    This coat of arm, on my picture, was displayed in the Trakai castle historical exposition. It was the oldest symbol of Lithuania, first mentioned in the 14th century as "yellow Gediminas towers" on a "red field". King Gediminas of Lithuania ruled from 1316 to 1341.

    This symbolic sign - the towers of Gediminas (also called gates of Gediminas) - was common in Lithuania, used to identify with all things in Lithuania :-).

    GEDIMINAS  TOWERS  -  SYMBOL  OF  LITHUANIA
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    If you look for souvenirs...

    by matcrazy1 Updated Aug 22, 2004

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    Excuse, it's more Lithuania than Trakai local custom tip. I will transfer it to my Lithuania page soon.

    Whenever you look for souvenirs/gifts from Lithuania look for a sign "SUVENYRAI", like on my picture. Well, they usually added English explanation (souvenirs shop) especially in touristy places like Trakai but is less visited destinations not always. Suvenyrai is in Lithuanian language plural for souvenir. Nouns in plural end with "ai" in Lithuanian as I noticed.


    For more basic words in Lithuanian including their pronunciation (sound files to download) click here, please and select Lithuanian language.

    SYVENYRAI = SOUVENIRS
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    Lithuanian costume dress

    by matcrazy1 Written Aug 21, 2004

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    Walking around Trakai, I didn't see any locals dressed in national costumes. Instead, I found this ceramic plate with dancing couple dressed in national Lithuanian dress. Yellow, green and red are national colours of Lithuania and its flag. And Lithuania is "Lietuva" in Lithuanian language.

    DANCING  COUPLE  ON  A  PLATE
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    Bright colours of local boats

    by matcrazy1 Updated Aug 21, 2004

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    Boats in Trakai were painted in bright colours which reminded me boats, I was lucky to see in... Malta. They were parked along both islands (Karvine and Castle) and along oposite southern bank og Gatve lake. Well, I preferred to walk over the bridges to the castle than to hire one of them.

    COLORFUL  BOAT
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    Black box for your money

    by matcrazy1 Updated Aug 22, 2004

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    When I left a yard of the Palace (main, residential part of the Trakai castle) I found this black box, on my picture. They asked to put money inside the box in 4 languages: English, Polish, Russian and Lithuanian. It was aid for reviving fellowship of knights. My recommendation is to put there small coin :-). Maybe they will organize some funny knight's festivals there. Thank you.

    AID  FOR  FELLOWSHIP  OF  KNIGHTS
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    Lithuanian wooden statues

    by matcrazy1 Written Aug 22, 2004

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    They used to put typical Lithuanian, wooden statues, like on my picture, in front of many touristy stores/shops in Trakai. Well, you can buy one if you have large car :-). Typical Lithuanian wooden statue was high and rather thin. Locals were not always that high and thin, though :-).

    LITHUANIAN  WOODEN  STATUE
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Trakai Local Customs

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