Google Doodle celebrates Lithuania’s National Day

16 February Google Doodle celebrates one of Lithuania’s two independence days

Amelia Neath
Friday 16 February 2024 14:00 GMT
16th February’s Google Doodle celebrates Lithuania’s National Day
16th February’s Google Doodle celebrates Lithuania’s National Day (Google Doodle)

Google Doodle’s 16 February artwork celebrates Lithuania National Day, the first of Lithuania’s two annual independence days.

This doodle commemorates the country declaring its independence when, on the same day in 1918, 20 members of the Council of Lithuania signed the Act of Independence, declaring their nation as sovereign, according to LRT, the national Lithuanian broadcaster.

The day also honours those who persisted in the quest to restore Lithuania as a sovereign country.

Before 1918, Lithuania was under Russian rule since the late 18th century and was also occupied by German troops during World War One.

Celebrations will be held in the country’s capital, Vilnius. Lithuanians will come together for the festivities, which include flag-hoisting ceremonies, Google Doodle said.

Last year, celebrations in Vilnius included the hoisting of the flags of the three Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) at Simonas Daukantas Square and an official commemoration at the House of Signatories of Lithuanian Independence, LRT said.

A ceremony was also held in front of a monument dedicated to Jonas Žemaitis-Vytautas, who was a signatory of the Lithuanian partisans’ declaration of independence on 16 February 1949 and was also elected chairman of the Presidium of the Council of the Lithuanian Freedom Struggle, according to the military academy named after him.

While the partisan movement persevered in regaining independence, it would not be until the 1990s that Lithuania would proclaim its renewed sovereignty.

The second Independence Day in Lithuania, celebrated less than a month later on 11 March, is known as the Day of Restoration of Independence of Lithuania.

This day commemorates 11 March 1990, when the country became once again an independent state after being occupied for 50 years after it was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940.

The US secretary of state, Anthony Blinken, sent a congratulatory message to the country on their Independence Day.

“As we celebrate Lithuania’s independence, we remember the values that bind our nations together – a dedication to freedom, human rights, and the rule of law,” he said.

“Congratulations once again, I extend my warmest wishes for health, prosperity, and security to all Lithuanians.”

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