Winter events in Dzūkija National Park and Čepkeliai Nature Reserve
Dzūkija national park traditionally organized the night hike to the partisans’ bunker
40 people went on a hike this year. Most students were from Varėna “Ąžuolas “ gymnasium. We have started the route near the Visitors’ Centre of Dzūkija National Park in Marcinkonys village and went to Rudnelė village. The bunker s located near Skroblus and Madždžeris springs. Nothing has changed here near the bunker. We saw the same tall pine trees and fir trees as in 1946. Then, on the 12th of January, the partisans were attacked and the partisan from Rudnelė village Ėglis-Jonas Kraunekis was killed. All participants of the night hike sang the hymn of Lithuania. The candles were burnt. We were so friendly to each other feeling some common sense of proud that now our country is independent. It was just what the partisans were dreaming about hiding in the bunkers.
Ancient craft training In Dzūkija National Park
This year ancient craft training took place in the ethnographic homestead in Dzūkija National Park. There everyone could make wax candles from natural wax which was taken from the bee hives. All the participants were really patient because the process of making candles takes some time. It is not as easy as it seems. At first the participants were dissolving wax. Then they were hanging wicks on the special wheel, pouring hot wax on these wicks until their candles got as thick as they wanted them to be. All the candles the participants could take home and use for their own purposes. As we know from Lithuanian history, such homemade candles were used for Christening, in the funeral or other family ceremonies. Also they could be taken to the church to be sanctified. Lithuanians lighted such sanctified candles on the storm, while lightening. Also it was believed that these candles helped to protect from natural disasters or illnesses.
„Čepkeliai icicle 2014”
For the first time in January the hike tour „Čepkeliai icicle 2014” took place in Dzūkija National Park. It was a hike on foot or with skis. Everyone could take part in this hike. It was a little bit cold outside about -20 degrees but it was really fun and the participants have not got cold. In the future we are planning to organize more such kind excursions for the visitors of Dzūkija National Park to learn more about our Park and to spend more time in nature.
Swine fever outbreak in Lithuania
After more than a month, when the information reached us that in Lithuania were found two boars infected with swine fever, in some Lithuanian areas were imposed strict security measures. Unfortunately it affected and Dzūkija National Park and Čepkeliai State Nature Reserve. Though hunting in protected areas was strictly prohibited, now it is temporally allowed to regulate wild boars population. The majority of the Authority's staff oppose the decision.