Happy birthday, Lithuania, happy birthday, KTU!

Important | 2024-02-16

On February 16, 1918, by signing The Act of Reinstating Independence, Lithuania declared its independence. However, this is not the only reason for celebrating the February 16th. According to the tradition of those days, it was attempted to open all important state institutions on the same day. Thus, on February 16, 1922, the first national Lithuanian university was opened.

Although the University of Lithuania has not survived to this day, Kaunas universities, such as Kaunas University of Technology, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, and, partly, Lithuanian Sports University have their roots in the University of Lithuania.

“All these universities can see their origins stemming from the University of Lithuania and associate certain stages of their history with it. The centenary of the founding of LU, which was celebrated in 2022, is important not only for the fact of founding the organisation itself but also for the extent to which the people who worked at this university contributed to the formation of the Lithuanian State and its identity,” says Prof. Eugenijus Valatka, KTU Rector.

According to the Rector of KTU, we need to never forget that February 16 is a symbolic moment of the birth of national higher education in Lithuania. It was only after 1922, that scientific discourse started to be developed in the Lithuanian language, which was very important for the young state.

Lithuanians traditionally celebrate February 16 with celebratory parades, special exhibitions in state museums, which are free on this day, and free concerts. In Kaunas, people gather in the new town, Vienybes Square, which holds symbolic meaning for those who fought for independence during soviet occupation times.

Today, Kaunas is inviting to visit free museums, folk art collectives’ concerts, and many more celebrations. The full programme can be found on the Internet.