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Saturday 20 January 2024

Pink soup and thousands of singers in Europe's G-Spot destination

They do things a little bit differently in Lithuania.

While other countries might promote their amazing architecture or fabulous wines, the good folk of Vilnius highlight their famous pink soup and festival of massed choirs.

A very chatty email landed this week from Go Vilnius, the official tourism and business development agency of the capital city.

They are keen for visitors to enjoy a giant slide into a bowl of cold pink soup during Pink Soup Fest or tens of thousands of folk singers and dancers at The Lithuanian Song Festival.

They also have a very cheeky G-Spot promotion (“Nobody knows where it is, but when you find it, it’s amazing”).

The Vilnius Pink Soup Fest is on June 8 as thousands of Lithuanians and city guests will celebrate their affection for a cold beetroot soup, the most popular Lithuanian summertime dish, mainly made from boiled beetroots, cucumber, and kefir.

Dozens of partners, including restaurants and bars to museums, will offer various versions of the pink soup, pink-infused coffee, beet-flavoured desserts, tours, exhibitions, and workshops. 

The event’s purpose is not only to taste the iconic Lithuanian soup but to celebrate all things pink. Last year, over 15,000 people, many dressed up in pink, joined the festival, taking part in a sliding competition and other attractions.

The Lithuanian Song Festival, meanwhile, is a once-in-four-year opportunity to witness a massive concert of hundreds of choirs and thousands of people singing at once on a huge open-air stage.

This year, the Festival will be celebrating its centenary, marking a century of the Lithuanian nation coming together to celebrate the country's cultural heritage through dancing and singing. 

The festival holds deep importance due to its role in preserving Lithuania's national identity during times of Soviet occupation, which is why it was dubbed the “singing revolution.” Expect around 40,000 singers, and dancers, alongside an audience of over 300,000.

Readers of GoTR might prefer Gastronomy Week in November.

The local tourism folk assure me that "Vilnius is fast establishing itself as a gastronomic hotspot".

Think the chance to taste historical dishes like goose with cabbage and hazelnut sauce - a meal that dates from the 17th century.

# The European Commission announced Vilnius as the winner of the 2025 European Green Capital Award, recognising the city's ability to integrate sustainability efforts with the well-being of its residents.

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