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Marvelously complex and sometimes downright breath-taking, straw gardens (also known as straw mobiles) are among the most enigmatic types of Lithuanian folk art. Before our own times, straw gardens were made year-round – during Easter and Christmas, in celebrating marriages and baptisms, as well as on public holidays and ritual events.

Marvelously complex and sometimes downright breath-taking, straw gardens (also known as straw mobiles) are among the most enigmatic types of Lithuanian folk art. In 2023, they were included to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The fact that straw gardens aren't as enduring as iron or ceramic items makes ethnographic research difficult – even the origins of the odd name by which they're known remains a mystery to this day. Some researchers speculate that it's meant to emphasise the beauty and harmony between this world and the next that people create with their own hands out of chaos. This interpretation is further supported by the fact that straw gardens primarily consist of triangular and square shapes, which ancient cultures held to be symbolic of spirit and matter, respectively.

Before our own times, straw gardens were made year-round – during Easter and Christmas, in celebrating marriages and baptisms, as well as on public holidays and ritual events. In order to protect the home, they used to be hung above the table where the family gathered for a meal three times per day.

Making straw gardens is seemingly easy – you can pick up the basics within a few hours. If you want to create a truly magical, "cosmic" structure, however, you'll also need to develop your mathematical and spatial thinking, as well as exercise utmost diligence. And yet, once you've gotten into the groove, chances are you'll find it hard to stop, as making straw gardens is also an excellent way to relax and to meditate.

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