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Hot air balloon becomes name of Game to celebrate Lithuania National Pavilion Day

10-26-2010 09:44 BJT Special Report:Shanghai World Expo 2010 |

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Bordering the Baltic sea in Northern Europe, Lithuania stands in the spotlight at the Shanghai World Expo on Monday celebrating its national pavilion day. Hot air balloons and basketball are the country's two fortes, so they are featured heavily at its pavilion.

Lithuania is a country with the highest percentage of its residents owning hot air balloons, and its capital Vilnius, is one of a few capitals in Europe over which flights in hot air balloons are permitted.

The pavilion takes the theme "Discover Lithuania from a hot air balloon." And for 100 euros, visitors can take a trip on a huge balloon model, experiencing the feeling of boarding a real one and how it feels when it takes off. While on the ride, passengers get a bird's eye view of the whole pavilion.

Lithuania used to be the largest European country, but that was back in the 14th century. It still boasts abundant forests and water resources, and Europe's highest sand dunes. Its capital Vilnius has been rated as having the clearest air among all European cities.

Sculpture "I Can" is inspired by the famous painting of Leonardo da Vinci "Vitruvian Man." It symbolizes harmony and balance --- visitors can climb up and swing on it a little bit, with hands spread wide open for universe.

Lithuanian people perform during a ceremony marking the National Pavilion
Day of Lithuania at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, east China, Oct. 25,
2010. (Xinhua/Liu Ying)

Visitors also will find a "magic stone" within the pavilion. It's the original magical stone from the cathedral square of Vilnius, which can give blessings to those who step on it and help them realize their wishes.

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the country. Lithuania has produced several NBA players past and present, and won bronze medals in three of its five appearances at the Olympics.

Lithuania takes pride in their food, dubbing it a national heritage. And of course, they brought their various food specialties to the pavilion visitors, who can also choose some amber souvenirs to take home. It's widely known that amber produced in the Baltic Sea is the finest of the world.

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