The year 2024 has been declared the year of the 100th Anniversary of the Lithuanian Song Celebration, so it is no coincidence that the Kaziukas Fair will be not only the herald of spring, but also of this magnificent celebration.
The motive of well-known Lithuanian folk song Eisva mudu abudu will be the Kaziukas Fair's unifying message.
The cultural program in new colors will reveal how beautiful Lithuanian folk songs can be. The modern presentation and new musical compositions will pleasantly surprise every visitor of Kaziukas Fair.
According to the legend of "Three Handed St. Casimir", the artist (or two artists) who painted it originally depicted the King's right arm outstretched, but later wanted to change the composition. After painting the hand differently, he tried to paint over the failed part, but the hand miraculously did not 'stay' hidden and kept coming out, and the newly painted hand could not be painted over either. Thus, thanks to Divine Providence, the painting of St. Casimir was left with three hands. Restoration attempts to find out whether one of these hands with lilies was painted later, e.g. when the painting was renewed in 1594 (an inscription at the bottom of the painting indicates the work carried out at that time), have not yielded the expected results - although the painting has been slightly repainted several times (here, instead of the medallion with the image of Our Lady on the painting, the medallion with St Casimir's hand has been painted with the lilies). Casimir's chest with a chain with the Order of the Golden Fleece), all three hands were painted at the same time and were never painted over or otherwise altered.
The most desired Kaziukas Fair treat, ‘Smurgainiu riestainiai’ (a round wheat flour pastry with a hole in the middle), was first baked in the XV century. The Kaziukas Fair stalls were lined with these delicacies, named after a small town in present-day Belarus. They were brought to the market in large numbers, sometimes even by boat on the Neris River. In the beginning, they were of the same size and of two types: sugar and black cumin. Later, larger ones were produced and flavoured with vanilla, chocolate, and poppy seeds. The secret of 'Smurgainiu riestainiai' taste is to boil them before they go into the oven and to sprinkle them with a specific spice – black cumin (nigella) seeds.
In Lithuanian, the verba (a bouquet of juniper, blind, currant, birch, and other branches of trees or shrubs that burst forth earliest in spring, or a whip covered with dry flower blossoms and herbs) was first mentioned by the evangelical Lutheran priest Jonas Bylaukio in 1573-1574. They were so elaborated and popularised by the artist Ferdinand Ruszczyc (1870-1936) that they became part of small-scale folk art works. It is believed that consecrated verbs protect people from diseases, houses (after being soaped or plastered) from thunderstorms and other disasters, and when placed in the field, they protect crops from hail, drought and rodents.
More than one record is set at the Kaziukas Fair. On March 8, 2014, a record-breaking - 3 m high, 1.5 m in diameter and 250 kg in weight - chicken 'Tulip' was baked. It was grilled from more than 5000 chicken wings by members of the Lithuanian Barbecue Bakers' Association and students of the Vilnius School of Tourism and Business Commerce. In 2017, carver Virgilijus Vaičiūnas entered the Book of Records by carving a pair of dumplings 2.29 cm long and 42 cm high. In In 2023, in celebration of the 700th anniversary of Vilnius, the symbol of the fair was a 10-metre high verba, consisting of 700 verbas tied by a team of traditional verbas weavers from the Vilnius region, led by folk artist and seventh-generation verba weaver, Agata Granicka.