Coronation Anniversary of Vytautas the Great in Lithuania Date in the current year: September 8, 2024

Coronation Anniversary of Vytautas the Great in Lithuania On September 8, Lithuanians celebrate the coronation anniversary of Vytautas the Great (although the coronation never actually happened). This unofficial observance honors a national hero of Lithuania, whose figure served as an inspiration during the Lithuanian National Revival.

Vytautas, who was nicknamed “the Great” during his lifetime, was one of the most famous rulers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. He was the son of Kestutis, who co-ruled Lithuania with his brother Algirdas. After Algirdas’s death, he was succeeded by his son Jogaila, and a struggle for power between Jogaila and Kestutis ensued.

In 1382, Jogaila had Kestutis and Vytautas arrested and transported to Kreva Castle. One week later, Kestutis was murdered (although Jogaila claimed it was a suicide), but Vytautas managed to escape and continued to struggle for power in his father’s stead.

The first struggle for power between Jogaila and Vytautas ended in 1384 with a temporary reconciliation that didn’t resolve the issue. It was followed by the Lithuanian Civil War of 1389–1392. When the conflict reached a stalemate, Jogaila and Vytautas found a compromise. Vytautas assumed the title of grand duke, and Jogaila, who had been crowned King of Poland, became his overlord.

Vytautas proved himself a capable ruler, making the Great Duchy of Lithuania more centralized and introducing many reforms that boosted its economic development. In 1429, at the Congress of Lutsk King Sigismund of Hungary proposed that Vytautas be crowned King of Lithuania, which caused the outrage of Polish nobles.

The coronation of Vytautas was to take place on September 8, 1430 (the Nativity of Mary). However, envoys who were carrying documents supporting the coronation were stalled at Polish-Lithuanian border, and the coronation didn’t happen. Vytautas suddenly died a month and a half later, never becoming the King of Lithuania. Nevertheless, he is greatly revered by Lithuanians, and the date of his failed coronation is an important, although unofficial, observance.

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Coronation Anniversary of Vytautas the Great in Lithuania, observances in Lithuania, unofficial observances