Lithuania gives winter a send off on two new coins
- Published: Feb 15, 2019, 6 AM
Shrove Tuesday, known Užgavénés in Lithuania, is most likely the merriest of all Lithuanian celebrations, according to the Bank of Lithuania.
Two new 2019 coins attempt to channel that celebration, a copper-nickel €1.5 and a silver €5 coin.
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This day is traditionally full of cheer, mischief, and all forms of self-expression.
“Užgavénés remains authentic and spontaneous in nature — there is no divider between the theatrical festivities of the merrymakers and the spectators as everyone knows what is happening and how to fit in,” according to a history of the event provided by the bank. “After all, each of the Užgavénés rituals promotes: ‘winter, winter go away, let spring out to play!’?”
The two new coins are part of the Traditional Lithuanian Celebrations series, and are being issued Feb. 19.
The coins were designed by Giedrius Paulauskis and minted at the Lithuanian Mint.
The obverse of the coins features a character of Užgavénés — a horse rider, actually a person dressed up in a costume that makes him appear to be riding a horse.
The coin also features the nation’s name, year of issue (2019), corresponding denomination, and the Mint mark of the Lithuanian Mint.
The reverses of the coins feature distinctive attributes characteristic of the lively end-of-winter celebration Užgavénés: in the center is Moré, a straw-and-sticks effigy of winter, surrounded by figures of a beggar, a crane and a witch baking pancakes, followed by Lašininis, a symbol of winter; Kanapinis, a symbol of spring; and a goat-like figure playing an accordion.
The composition is surrounded by the inscriptions UŽGAVÉNÉS above and the slogan of the celebration below, translating to “Winter, Winter go away from our yards.”
The edge of the silver coin also features an inscription translating to “If you do not leave, we will boot you out ourselves.” (An alternate translation, provided by the Bank of Lithuania, is “if you stay we will oust you, whipping you away.”)
Pad-printing technology used on the reverse side of the silver coin creates an impression of flames surrounding Moré.
The Uncirculated €1.50 coin weighs 11.1 grams, measures 27.5 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of 30,000 pieces. The coin retails for €2.
The Proof .925 fine silver coin weighs 12.44 grams, measures 28.7 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of 3,000 pieces. It retails for €49.
To order the coin, visit the Bank of Lithuania e-shop.
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