MJR XVI programme
special events, actions and entertainment

Vilkatlakai – Lithuanian history reconstruction club

As the pioneers of the live history movement in Lithuania, we seriously aim to approach the culture and lifestyle of our ancestors through warfare. After all, fighting has always been an integral part of our history <...>. Today our sacred goal is to disperse falsehood about our history and transfer the truth to the coming generations. It is a huge responsibility and no mistakes are acceptable. Therefore we remain true to our activities with all our wealth, time and strength, because our utmost aim is to ENLIGHTEN!


Bows and arrows

One of the most interesting parts of Mėnuo Juodaragis is the international MAS (Medieval Archery System) competition held by Strėlė club. The Festival will welcome professionals and amateurs from Lithuania and abroad. They will demonstrate fragments of medieval warfare and hunting, and discuss the peculiarities of archery. Everyone will get a chance to take a shot. Follow the programme if you or your kids wish to participate in the archery tournaments.

"Sūduvos tauras" club and Samogitian horses

The history reconstruction club "Sūduvos tauras" is aiming to reconstruct the lifestyle of Souvians – the biggest and the oldest Baltic tribe. It is one of the first Baltic tribes mentioned in the times of Roman Empire and in Ptolemy's Geography in the 2nd century AD. The club covers 7th–13th centuries. During the festival, "Sūduvos tauras" will stage mounted fights and present the equipment of a warrior and his mount, reconstructed according to the archaeological information from the Central Lithuania.

The alchemy of words at the Mėnuo Juodaragis fire

Saturday afternoon, a colourful bouquet of poetry will blossom in the shade of the Great Oak by the altar fire. Latvian verses will be cited by Indra Brūvere and young poets Anna Foma and Madara Rutkēviča. Lithuanian poetry will be represented by Marius Burokas, Artūras Valionis, Antanas A. Jonynas and Vladas Braziūnas.


The folklore dance group "RĪGAS DANČU KLUBS" (RDK) (Riga Folk Dance Club) gathers young people which are interested in traditional Culture and, especially, folk dances. The repertoire of RDK includes dances, round dances and games of different regions of Latvia, their choreographic arrangements, which make together concert programs – performances of habitual everyday traditions and seasonal customs that represent Latvian culture.

Together with dances, Rīgas Danču klubs learn singing, verbal folklore, and traditions. Many parts of national costumes are made by participants themselves. The musicians of RDK achieve an original sound using old instruments and trying to imitate the ancient playing style of national musicians.

"Rīgas Danču klubs” makes it possible for every interested person to join and participate in RDK activities. Besides RDK organizes dance workshops on regular basis offering a wide rage of various traditional dances. 

Fire and dance warriors

Twisting fires, dancing fakirs, flying fireballs and an explosion of hot energy will light the Festival night this year. Fire warriors will perform enchanting dances and fire games at night and welcome everyone to try the fire tricks at daytime.

Curonian Vikings

Legend and fact has it that the oldest Latvian settlement mentioned in written sources was Grobiņa. The town of Seeburg (Jūrpilis) was founded here in the 19th century and settled by Curonians, whose powerful raids reached as far as Denmark.

Today, a Viking settlement has been set up on Grobiņa archaeological site to promote Curonian lifestyle and unique values.

The barge of Curonian Vikings was made in Pāvilosta, it is similar to the 9th century boats. It bears the ancient Curonian name of Tontegode. The visitors of the Festival will get a chance to get on this Viking boat and take a look at the Zarasai Island from the lake.

Tour of the Lithuanian-Latvian border

09.30 from the Festival gate
Duration: ca. 2–3 hours
Length: ca. 30 km
Route: Zarasai observation deck – Stelmužė Oak – Šlyninka

The traditional tour of Zarasai will take you on a trip across pictures locations around Zarasai located close to the border of Latvia and Lithuania. We will visit the Zarasai observation deck and take the border road to the old Stelmužė Oak. The bus will also stop by the 300 years old Šlyninka water mill and have a breakfast of pancakes with ice-tea.

NB! The bus tour is free of charge, but some small change may be needed for the museum and other expenses.

Bike tour

10.00 from the Festival gate
Duration: ca. 4 hours
Length: ca. 30 km
Route: Zarasai – Minauka – Pasodė – Šventas Lake – Rusteikiai – Zarasai

The tour starts on the Great Island of Lake Zarasas and stretch to Lake Šventas located in Gražutė Regional Park. We will visit orthodox villages and houses of prayer, and ancient castle mounds. Be sure to bring your bathing suits and towels, as you will have a chance to test the crystal clear waters and the silk soft sand of Lake Šventas.

Hiking tour

11.00 from the Info Centre
Duration: 2.5 hours
Length: 4–7 km

Saturday morning will start with the hiking tour led by one of the brightest Lithuanian hikers Tadas Šidiškis! We will follow the shore of Lake Zarasas across bridges, brooks and forests. We will visit a military graveyard with an impressive obelisk. The ones with the greatest stamina will continue to the recently built observation deck.