Lithuania

Lithuania
[lithOOA‘nEu]

Lithuania,  Lithuanian Lietuva, officially Republic of Lithuania, republic (1995 est. pop. 3,876,000), 25,174 sq mi (65,201 sq km), N central Europe. Lithuania borders on the Baltic Sea in the west, Latvia in the north, Belarus in the east and southeast, Poland in the south, and the Kaliningrad oblast (a Russian exclave; formerly East Prussia) in the southwest.Vilnius is the capital, largest city, and an important rail and highway center.

Geography

Lithuania is situated on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea and borders Latvia on the north, Belarus on the east and south, Poland and the Kaliningrad region of Russia on the southwest. It is a country of gently rolling hills, many forests, rivers and streams, and lakes. Its principal natural resource is agricultural land.

Christmas

A Lithuanian Christmas tree is decorated with delicate straw geometric (Siaudinukai) ornaments.

Twelve foods correspond to the 12 Apostles who will be served on Christmas Eve. No meat is to be eaten.

The dining room table is covered with a layer of straw over which will be a hand woven linen table cloth. As a tradition each family member is to pull out a piece of straw. Legend has it that the one who draws the longest straw will have the longest life or in the case of young people the length of their single life.

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