history of local guilds has not been presented in a proper way in
Vilnius up to present. It is very modestly reflected in the exposition
of the Lithuanian National Museum, too, though there are quite a lot of
craftsmen’s articles of different times in its stacks. At the initiative
of the Public Institution “Amatu Gildija” the old tradition of Vilnius,
i.e. a festal craft fair in commemoration of St. Bartholomew’s Day –
the 24th of August – was resurrected in 2009.
Bartholomew Fair lasting for two days starts with the solemn procession
of all participating craftsmen carrying historical guild flags from
Aušros Vartai (The Gate of Dawn) down Vokiečių, Dominikonų, Šv. Jonų,
Pilies streets towards the Town Hall Square.
The procession is led by knights on the horses and accompanied by music
performing ensembles. Demonstration of crafts and trade in
reconstructed wares of the 15-17th
centuries lasts for entire two days. The fair several times throughout
the day is interspersed with performances of invited theatres, medieval
music and dance groups from Lithuania and foreign countries, shows of
Renaissance costumes, demonstration of fighting elements of the Middle
Ages and different games known from the 15-17th centuries.