The culture of Lithuania combines an indigenous heritage, represented by the unique Lithuanian language, with Nordic cultural aspects and Christian traditions.
Lithuania has a long history of folk, popular and classical musical development. Lithuanian folk music is based primarily around polyphonic music played on flutes, zithers (kanklės) and other instruments. Lithuanian folk music is based around songs, which include romantic, wedding songs, as well as work songs and more archaic war songs. Traditional vocal music is held in high esteem on a world scale: Lithuanian song fests and ‚sutartinės‘ multipart songs are on the UNESCO’s representative list of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
Lithuania has a lively drama scene. Many film festivals exist, such as Kino Pavasaris and the AXX Commercial Film Festival Contest. A major theatre in Lithuania is the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre.
A large number of museums exist in Lithuania. The Lithuanian Art Museum was founded in 1933 and is the largest museum of art preservation and display in Lithuania. The Palanga Amber Museum is a subsidiary of the Lithuanian Art Museum. A future museum, Vilnius Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, will present exhibitions of new media art, parts of the New York City anthology film archive, and Fluxus art.
Basketball is the most popular and successful team sport in Lithuania. Luke Winn, a writer for the American magazine Sports Illustrated, said in an August 2011 story: “Basketball is the only sport the 3 million Lithuanians truly care about—it is their second religion, after Catholicism—and their success is proportionately stunning.”
The Lithuanian national basketball team won the European basketball Championship in 1937, 1939 (when it was the host country) and 2003. They won silver medals in 1995, 2013and 2015, bronze in 2007, and again hosted EuroBasket 2011. They were the bronze medal winners in the 2010 FIBA World Championship.
In Olympic competition, Lithuania was the bronze medallist at the 1992, 1996, and 2000 Summer Olympics. The team finished fourth in 2004 and 2008.
Apart from basketball among the most popular sports in Lithuania are football, athletics and cycling. Professional athletes and trainers are educated at the Lithuanian Academy of Physical Education.