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Jonas and Johns to be honoured during the Exercise Amber Hope 2007


Thirty persons with the names Jonas, Janis, Jans, John, Janus, Ivan  became the most important participants of the exercise Amber Hope 2007 on Saturday, 23 June. On the eve of St. Jonas' Day (in Lithuanian: Joninës), more than 1,000 military personnel representing 10 countries took part in the St. Jonas' Day festivities specially organised for them at the Kairiai Training Area.
During the festivities 6 Lithuanian, 8 Latvian, 9 British, 1 Polish, 3 Canadian, 2 Finnish and 1 Estonian personl was honoured with oak wreaths.
The festivities involved lots of Lithuanian traditions: soldiers went through the gates of Joninës, the girls were throwing flower wreaths on the Joninës trees. Lithuanian folk groups representing the Lithuanian Armed Forces invited soldiers for Lithuanian folk dances.
At midnight participants of the international exercise were searching to find the magic fern blossom.
”By conducting a large international exercise, the Lithuanian Armed Forces contributed to the development of Lithuanian image as well. It so happened  this year that in the partway of the exercise Lithuania was celebrating the St Jonas' Day. Therefore, we decided to take this opportunity to introduce Lithuanian culture and traditions to the exercise participants, ”said Brigadier General Arvydas Pocius, Commander of the Lithuanian Land Forces, Officer Conducting the Exercise.

More pictures of the festivities are available in photos of Amber Hope 2007 


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