Welcome to Utena region — the centre of Selonian lands
We kindly invite you to travel Selonian lands from Sėlė to Salakas and visit ethnographic villages of Strazdai, Šuminai, Vaišnoriškės, Varniškės and Šiaudiniškis, also the wooden churches of Daunoriai Sacred Heart of Jesus and Kirdeikiai St John the Baptist, the Chapel of Krokulė, the stone Salakas Church with an impressive churchyard fence, the Writer’s Hill, Antalieptė Monastery of the Holy Cross, Šeimyniškiai mound and its surroundings, Taurapilis mound, Lūžai mound and the hollowed stone. These objects of urban heritage are one of the unique characteristics of Utena region. Archaeological objects, as well as language, crafts and traditions are the heritage of the Selonian tribe. The heritage dating back to the pagan times is interesting, although not so well-known even to Lithuanians. The historical fact that Lithuania was the last pagan state in Europe (the process of christianisation began only during the reign of the King Mindaugas) is a strong force, attracting tourists and turning gazes towards Lithuania and the lands of the old Selonians.
Explore the Selonian heritage and get to know the cultural peculiarities of Utena region at traditional festivals: autumn equinox, the Day of Baltic Unity, the Day of Fire in Užpaliai, Pottery Fair in Leliūnai, the Day of Harvest and Crafts in Dusetos, community birthday and Cherry Flowering Festival in Tauragnai, Mink į Vyžuonas festival in Vyžuonos, Independent Cinema Festival in Saldutiškis, Banga children’s and youth creative festival in Sudeikiai, St Virgin Mary of the Scapular feast in Daugailiai, St John feast in Kuktiškės, the Assumption feast in Biliakiemis, St Ann feast in Vajasiškis, Particle feast in Antaliepė, St Peter’s feast in Salakas, as well as Utena city’s birthday in Utena.
East Aukštaitija has old crafting traditions, related to making household items, traditional national clothing and other handmade things. Their traditional expression and permanence, representing long-time values and local identity make crafting an attractive activity, neatly fitting the modern trends of ecology, naturalism and other ideas. Ethnocultural valuables and local crafts of Utena region stand on the shoulders of folk artists and craftsmen, as well as active non-governmental organisations. Upon your visit you will be able to get to know the crafts of stone cutting, weaving, furniture making, carpentry, carpentry, jewellery, smithery, decorative paper-cutting, bakery, felting, cross-making, Easter egg painting, knitting, pottery, basket weaving, sewing, embroidery, joinery, roofing, spoon-making, toy-making, candle-making, herbalism, traditional crop production and traditional bee-keeping.
Alaušas international plain-air of painting, photography and sculpture in Sudeikiai, organ concerts at Leliūnai church and Grok armonika folk festival in Kuktiškės are all a part of the cultural heritage of Aukštaitija. Thus, everyone visiting these events will be able to look for Selonian heritage in contemporary art and find it there.