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Calendar of festivals and events

Calendar of festivals and events

The Małopolska Region boasts a rich festive tradition. The festivals of Małopolska are restricted in the liturgical calendar ofwhich the most notable are Christmas and Easter. All the localcelebrations have a beautiful – and often very spectacular – setting andare held in an unforgettable festive atmosphere, which radiates sointensely, that even onlookers frequently cannot resist their charm.

Date

Festival/sEvent

Description

Place

January

Ecumenical Week

The Week of Prayers for Christian Unity is a festival of ecumenism. Each year, between 18 and 25 January, Christians of various denominations meet at common masses, prayers, conferences and concerts.

Kraków

February

Presentation of Jesus at the Temple

The Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple (2.02) ends the Christmas period. It is the last day of the singing of Christmas carols. The faithful come to churches with candles which, after being blessed are to protect houses from lightning and storms. They may be lit at the deathbed, to lead the dead person to the other side of life.

 

February

Pope John Paul II Podhale Run

The event has been organised since 2004. The winner of the Pope John Paul II Podhale Run was Justyna Kowalczyk – later Olympic and world champion.

Nowy Targ

March /April

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is the beginning of the Holy Week, which ends with the Resurrection. On this day, the faithful come to temples with colorful palms, to commemorate the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem. In Lipnica Murowana, there is a competition for the highest and the most beautiful palm.

 

March /April

Tallest palm competition

The competition attracts crowds, while the record-breaking palms, decorated with colourful ribbons, green flowers and twigs, sometimes reach the height of 30 metres

Lipnica Murowana

March /April

Palm Baby Jesus

One can see a figure of donkey-riding Christ on a wooden pram during a procession which marches across the village of Tokarnia

Tokarnia

 

March /April

Mystery of the Passion

The cult of the Passion in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska is manifested in the devotion to the Trails of Jesus and Passion mysteries of the Holy Week. On the background of the landscape reminiscent of Golgotha, the scenes of the last days of Christ’s life are shown. The mysteries are among the oldest in Poland, permanently raising interest among the faithful.

 Kalwaria Zebrzydowska

March /April

Easter Trail of Małopolska

The event is organised as part of the Małopolska Festival of Taste. The many culinary attractions include: trying the Easter whey-based rye soup (żurek), horseradish soup, different-style Easter eggs, sausages (wiejska, krakowska, myśliwska), honey and liqueurs

Kraków

 

March/April (a week before Easter)

Easter Market

It is a good opportunity to buy some Easter delicacies, such as sponge cakes and different flavour mazurek cakes

Kraków (Market Square)

March /April

Misteria Paschalia

A festival of classical music, devoted to famous baroque composers and strictly connected with the Holy Week and Easter celebrations

Kraków

 

March /April

Holy Saturday

In the Christian tradition, Holy Saturday is the third day of the so-called Paschal Triduum. In churches, no liturgy is celebrated, the Holy Sacrament is transferred to a symbolic grave. The priests bless foods for the Easter table brought to the temple by the faithful. The custom is also to visit the graves of Christ.

 

March /April

Easter Day

Also known as Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday. This is the most important festival of the Christians, to which they prepare for 40 days of Lent. It starts with the morning resurrection mass, announced by a joyful ringing of bells.

 

March /April

Easter Monday

Easter Monday, also known as Śmigus Dyngus is the second day of the Easter celebrations. Formerly, it was believed that maids, who had been poured on with water on that day, would get married quickly. This tradition has survived to this day.

 

March /April

Emaus

 

A traditional church fair in remembrance of Christ’s journey to the town of Emmaus after his resurrection. The stalls outside the Norbertine monastery or the Church of the Holy Saviour in Zwierzyniec offer, among other things, the characteristic wooden figurines of the swinging Jews

Kraków (the district of Salwator)

March /April

Rękawka

 

A church fair organised in Kraków near the church of St. Benedict and at the foot of the Krakus Mound. This primeval tradition has pagan origins and was connected with a cult of the dead

Kraków (the district of Podgórze)

April

Feast of Divine Mercy

In the Catholic Church, the second Sunday after Easter is called Divine Mercy Sunday. It is a festival celebrated in Poland since 1995, and since 2000, by decision of Pope John Paul II, all over the world.

 

April

March of the Living

The “March of the Living” has been organised since 1988 by the Israeli Ministry of Education and the organisation March of the Living. Its participants cover a route of three kilometres which leads to the monument of the victims in the former German Auschwitz II-Birkenau concentration camp.

Auschwitz

April

Tischner Days

Organised in the spring, the Tischner Days are an attempt to confront the ideas of Rev. Tischner with the problems of our times. They are an occasion to think about man, his fate and values.

Kraków

May

Procession to Skalka

Every year on the Sunday closest to May 8, the feast day of St. Stanislaus the Bishop, a ceremonious procession walks through the streets of Krakow. The procession participants follow the relics of the saint from the Wawel Cathedral to the Church on Skałka – the place of worship of St. Stanislaus who died a martyr’s death on that very site on Skałka.This is how St. Stanislaus – the patron saint of the Wawel Cathedral, Krakow, and the entire Poland – has been commemorated in Krakow for almost 800 years

Kraków

May

Whitsun

In the Catholic Church, the festival of Whitsun (or Pentecost) ends the Easter period. The name comes from the tradition of decorating the church and houses with green twigs.

 

May /June

Corpus Christi

In the Polish tradition, the festival of Corpus Christi (the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ) is combined with a solemn procession. In Krakow, in the octave of the festival, Lajkonik passes the streets of the city, from the Norbertine monastery in Salwator to the Marketsquare

 

June

Benedictine Days

During the Benedictine Days, there are concerts, lectures, book presentations and meetings with the friars from the Abbey in Tyniec. There is also a fair of Benedictine products.

Tyniec, Kraków

July

Benedictine Music Summer

The Benedictine Music Summer resulted from a combination of two music events:– Tyniec Organ Recitals held from 1972 and European Benedictine Monasteries Music Festival initiated in 2008.

Tyniec

July

Days of St. Kinga in Wieliczka

The annual Days of Wieliczka are held around 24 July, on the feast of the city’s patron saint - St. Kinga. Then, concerts, performances, sports competitions or contests related to finding the legendary ring of St. Kinga are organised.

Wieliczka

August

Assumption of Mary

In the Catholic Church, the festival of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated on August 15. On that day, according to the tradition, bunches of flowers, herbs and ears of grain, which the faithful bring to the church, are blessed.

 

August

Festival “Music in Old Krakow”

The Festival is an opportunity to present outstanding Polish and foreign soloists and bands. Participation in the Festival, in addition to the musical experience, gives an opportunity to explore the most beautiful historic places in Krakow.

Kraków

September

Nativity of the Mother of God

The festival of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Catholic Church is celebrated on 8 September. As the old tradition orders, on this day farmers bring grain intended for sowing to be blessed.

 

September

Sacrum-Profanum Festival

The Sacrum Profanum Festival is one of the most interesting musical events in Europe, presenting the latest music. Annually, within the framework of this event, the audience have an opportunity to participate in concerts, during which are the works of composers of contemporary music are performed.

Kraków

November

All Saints’ Day

Celebrated in the Catholic Church, the Festival of All Saints (1 November) in Poland is combined with the All Souls’ Day (2 November). The tradition of this day is to visit cemeteries and light candles on the graves of beloved ones.

 

October / November

All Souls' Day Jazz Meeting

The week-long festival of jazz music festival takes place at the turn of October and November, during the Festival of All Saints. It is characterised by a unique atmosphere, interesting places of artistic presentations, also the highest world level of performers.

Kraków

November

Church Music Days

They are organised in connection with the feast of St. Cecilia – the patron saint of church singing. This event includes choral workshops, lectures, organ recitals, concerts, courses and competitions for organists.

 

November

Days of Pope John Paul II

The purpose of the annual Days of Pope John Paul II is to commemorate Blessed John Paul II, to popularise his heritage within the academic community of Krakow and entire Małopolska. The event is organised at the beginning of November.

 

December

Kraków’s most beautiful crib competition 

Authors stand next to their works (cribs referring to Kraków’s most recognisable monuments, made of paper, cardboard and wood) on the steps of the statue of Adam Mickiewicz in the Market Square. They then march down to the Krzysztofory Palace, where the jury crowns the three-day event with announcing the winners of the competition. All the cribs remain on display until the end of January

Kraków (Market Square)

December

Christmas Fair

 

A fair during which you can buy various Christmas decorations, gifts and Christmas Eve delicacies

Kraków (Market Square)

December

Małopolska’s Christmas Eve Trial 

This festival of Christmas dishes and delicacies is a great opportunity to taste all the traditional culinary specialities of the region

Kraków (Market Square)

December

Angel Festival in Miasteczko

This small and intimate thematic event centres around angels. Its major attractions include: a traditional handicraft fair, a bygone country skills workshop, artistic performances, concerts and visual arts exhibitions

Lanckorona

December

Podhale Carol and Winter Song Competition

The competition cultivates the tradition of  the wandering carol-singers and is a great occasion to listen to beautiful Christmas songs 

Nowy Targ

December

Christmas Eve

In the Polish tradition, Christmas Eve is a ceremonial, family dinner eaten in the evening before Christmas. Typical dishes are, e.g.: redbeet soup with small dumplings - uszka, fried carp. At midnight, a solemn mass called Pasterka is held in churches.

 

December

Christmas

The festival of the Nativity in the Catholic Church falls on 25 December. It is related to many traditions, inter alia, decorating a Christmas tree and setting up a Christmas crib. During Advent, preceding Christmas, Christmas fairs are organised in cities.

 

December

Live Christmas crib at the Franciscans

On 23-25 December, at. ul. Franciszkańska, opposite the seat of the Archdiocese of Krakow, the Franciscans set up the Christmas crib with live animals and humans who act as the Holy Family and shepherds. It is accompanied by the nativity play and joint carol singing.

Kraków

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