Lithuanians Build Intricate Straw Sculpture Park Only to Burn It Down in Fiery Celebration

Every year, the people of New Town, in Panevėžys, Lithuania, hold an annual festival where tall intricate sculptures made completely out of straws are displayed for the entire month of October in a temporary Straw Sculpture Park. At the end of the month, the straw sculptures are burned to the ground to mark the transition from the animated summer to the cold winter.

14 rolls of hay, each weighting half a ton and 10 km of rope have been used to build these imposing straw installations, this year. Everything is made out of straws including the fence, the very tall entrance and, of course, the sculptures themselves which have a different theme every year. Last year, the villagers decided on a musical theme and designed each sculpture after a musical instrument. Among other attractions, there was a very accurate replica of a piano, a straw saxophone and straw balalaika – a triangular shaped stringed instrument from Russia.


Photo: U. Mikaliuno/Sekunde

This year’s Straw Sculpture Park theme was a market, so the sculptures were designed to look like animals, a bicycle, a cart and other things you would normally find in a traditional Lithuanian market. Only a modern car resembling a Volkswagen Beetle was a bit out of place, but being made entirely out of straws, it blended perfectly into the background. All of them were placed on display in the Straw Village for the entire month of October and were recently set ablaze in celebration of the changing season. The villagers have often thought of leaving the sculptures untouched throughout winter when snow would dress them in frozen white coats, making them even more beautiful, but everything in this world is fleeting and, in the end the villagers of New Town decided it is only natural that the park and its intricate sculptures come to an end as well.


Photo: A. Repsio/Sekunde

Nevertheless, this doesn’t stop the villagers from enjoying themselves, listening to some good music – courtesy of live performers equipped with accordions, and admiring the tall sculptures until it is time to burn them in a spectacular fiery celebration, a symbol of regeneration, purification and change.


Photo: Daina


Photo: V. Petrauskenes/Lrytas


Photo: Daina


Photo: A. Repsio/Sekunde


Photo: A. Repsio/Sekunde