Lithuania State Day

(redirected from Coronation of King Mindaugas)

Lithuania State Day (Coronation of King Mindaugas)

July 6
Lithuania State Day is a national holiday observed on July 6. On this day, Lithuanians honor the coronation of Mindaugas, who became the first and only king of a unified Lithuania in 1253, bringing the Baltic people together under his leadership. In 2003 Lithuanians celebrated the 750th anniversary of his crowning with a series of cultural activities, including operas, folk music concerts, folk dance performances, parades, and festivals.
Mindaugas founded the first independent Lithuanian state in 1240. Fearing that Lithuania would be unable to withstand attacks from neighboring groups, Mindaugas sought help from the Teutonic Knights, a religious military order that had established power in the southeastern Baltic region. In gratitude for their support, Mindaugas became a Roman Catholic in 1251. He is generally credited with bringing Christianity to the country for the first time, although the people of the Baltic region eventually rebelled against their compulsory Christian conversion, and many returned to pagan beliefs following his assassination in 1263.
CONTACTS:
Lithuanian Embassy
2622 16th St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009
202-234-5860; fax: 202-328-0466
www.ltembassyus.org