The New Year in Lithuania is observed with a public holiday every 1 January. This holiday extends the celebrations that climax in the leadup to midnight the night before – New Year’s Eve.
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In Lithuania, as in other Eastern European countries, feasting on lucky foods is traditionally a big part of New Years’ celebrations. For example, lentils are thought to look like money and thus bring prosperity, eating pork is supposed to bring prosperity, silver-scaled fish are considered lucky, and the long strands of sauerkraut stand for long life.
Lithuanian New Year is sometimes called “Little Christmas” because the foods eaten for both holidays are largely the same. But for New Year’s, meat dishes are included, while fish and vegetable dishes abound during Christmastime.
Also, people think it will earn them luck if they stay up till midnight on New Year’s Eve, while sleeping in the new year is considered very bad luck. Many Lithuanians spend the hours around midnight telling stories about good fortune or making predictions about good times to come.