Yaga Gathering

Yaga Gathering
Photo: yaga.lt
Yaga Gathering is an annual festival of non-conventional self-expression held in Varena district in Lithuania. It is renowned for its pagan, new-age oriented international crowd, abundant decorations, esoteric teachings, and a complete absence of any kind of advertising or brands.

The first Yaga Gathering was held in 2003 under the name Shambala Festival. Shambala, also spelled Shambhala or Shamballa, is a mythical kingdom presumably located somewhere in the Himalayas. Such a name was chosen because it reflected the festival’s concept. The event was not widely advertised and only a few hundred people knew of it. Shambala was a music festival with a primary focus on psychedelic trance.

In 2007, the organizers renamed the festival Yaga Gathering and expanded its scope to transform it into an arts and lifestyle festival. Yaga, also transliterated yajna or yagya, is a Sanskrit word for a Vedic ritual of offering to gods. The new name of the festival was supposed to symbolize spiritual rebirth of its participants.

Yaga Gathering is held every summer in a picturesque rural lakeside location near the town of Valkininkai. It hosts several music stages (Main Stage, Forest Stage, Chillout Stage, Concept Stage), workshops, the healing area, the craft yard, the children’s area, innovative visual installations and land art, performances, and more.

Music stages host live bands, psytrance, chill-out music and other music styles that the organizers and attendees deem appropriate for the event. Healing and craft areas host workshops and lectures on holistic medicine, traditional crafts and wellness activities such as yoga. At Yaga Gathering, you can try your hand at pottery, batik, origami, playing the Jew’s harp, throat singing, making dream catchers and mandalas, learn about palm reading and astrology, do yoga, and more.

Particular attention is paid to the design of the festival grounds. Every year artists from over 20 countries create land art and visual installations that amaze and inspire the attendees. Yaga Gathering also lays an emphasis on ecology. Most of the festival infrastructure is built using biodegradable materials. Besides, the festival enforces the “leave no trace” policy.

Yaga Gathering

Photo: Gytis Vidžiūnas




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