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What to do in Krakow on Easter?

Easter is one of the most important holidays in the Christian religion, it is also the most festive and rich in religious rites period. However, in Krakow there are many events that are characteristic only for this place. Below we have prepared a short guide on what to do in Krakow on Easter.

 

What to do during Easter in Krakow? Events calendar!

 

11 - 22 April - Easter Fair on the Main Square

At the fair you can buy mainly Easter items: reeds, baskets, palms, candles, Easter eggs, hand-painted porcelain, jewelry, tablecloths, napkins, “kierpce”, hand-embroidered coats, braids, salt mass, flour, hay and wood products, and other regional products, as well as oscypek or gingerbread. An additional attraction are the points of small gastronomy with Polish grilled dishes, promoting Old Polish cuisine. Throughout the duration of the fair there are art workshops for children, and at the opening and the end you will be able to enjoy artistic performances.

 

15 - 22 April - Misteria Paschalia - Festival of Early Music

Misteria Paschalia is a world-famous event dedicated to the music of Holy Week. This time it will be the Holy Week associated with Italy, with all regions of the country: Campania, Sicily, Lazio, and North Italy. During the eight days of the festival in the churches of St. Catherine Alexandrine and Holy Cross, as well as the ICE Krakow Congress Center and the Wieliczka Salt Mine, outstanding Italian and Polish artists will play music from Naples, Rome, Venice, Milan, Ferrara and Modena. The program was prepared by maestro Antonia Floria, founder and artistic director specializing in the music of the former Italian south of Cappelli Neapolitany, in cooperation with the Krakow Festival Office.

 

16 - 28 April - The most beautiful Easter salt egg (exhibition)

Salt eggs have been created in the Wieliczka Salt Mine Museum for 20 years. Participants of the competition receive ready-made salt eggs, which then have to decorate. However, this is not a simple art and requires a lot of preparation. Then the eggs will be presented at the exhibition. Interestingly, thanks to eggs from salt, this type of competition is probably the only one in the world.

 

April 22 - Easter Monday

Śmigus-dyngus - on this day throughout Poland, people traditionally pour water. Anyone can pour anyone and everyone can be poured. To drip somebody is in a good tone, but the youth organize real water battles, and the water pours buckets. Of course, if the weather allows.

 

Siuda Baba - this is a typical Krakow custom not found in other regions of Poland, at present it is based on the fact that a man dresses as a "neglected woman". He rubs his face, puts on worn clothing, a string of pottery beads, a large basket wrapped around his back with a cloth, and a big cross and a battered lash in his hands. He goes from house to house with Gypsy or Chimney Sweep, and in the company of a group of Cracovians in folk costumes who sing traditional songs. Then, “Siuda Baba” and her companion, black and soot the faces and hands of the household members, and they, in order to buy out, make donations to the basket. The staging with the participation of “Siuda Baba” will be available at the Easter Fair on April 22 at 14:00 (scene on the Main Market Square).

 

Emmaus - this is the name given to the traditional Cracow indulgence, which takes place on Easter Monday at the Norbertine monastery in Zwierzyniec, more precisely at the junction of Emaus, św. Bronisława and T. Kościuszko streets. It is worth to come here because of the variety of attractions for children and adults, to mention: sports shooting ranges, carousels for children, raffle lotteries, etc. On the stalls are lined with plastic toys, rings with colored eyes, traditional sweets, including gingerbread hearts. A peculiarity of the Krakow indulgence is also sold wooden figurines of Jewish musicians or Jews who study Torah.

 

23 - Easter Tuesday

Rękawka Festival - The holiday is associated with the legend of the Krak mound, which was made by local residents after the king's death in recognition of it. Tradition says that the land was worn in the sleeves, hence the name of this holiday. Today, on this day, in the vicinity of Mound, there are reconstructions of various medieval events and customs, such as the fight against invaders or the show of an anti-vampiric burial. Throughout the event, you will also be able to see the Slavic settlement and see what crafts were grown in the Middle Ages, what costumes were worn then and what was eaten. The event is always started by the rite of the fire and the war in full arming running around the Mound. There are also staged Krakow legends, as well as welcoming spring by drowning Marzanna (a straw dummy dressed in a woman's outfit).

 

Traditional Easter dishes. What to try?

 

Taking advantage of the opportunity to try traditional dishes, it is worth going to the markets or Krakow restaurants with traditional Polish cuisine to go for a tasting of dishes that are prepared especially for this occasion. So what is worth trying?

 

We recommend: żurek (sour rye soup with horseradish), roasted white sausage, eggs stuffed in various ways, home-made pate, pork loin with plum, baba (yeast cake), mazurek on shortcrust pastry or vegetable salad with mayonnaise. Same delicacies!

 

Religious rituals

 

Easter is not only fun, fairs and food, it is primarily the most ceremonial religious rituals. There are many churches in Krakow, at least one street can be found on almost every street in the old town. However, the most important and most ceremonial Easter ceremonies will take place in the Wawel Cathedral and in the St. Mary's Basilica. It is worth to go to them during the Easter period and participate in the festivities. List of the most important of the days of Easter:

 

April 14 - Palm Sunday - is a movable holiday (7 days before Easter) established in remembrance of the arrival of Christ to Jerusalem. Today, on this day, Christians bring to their church colorful palms made of tissue paper or painted and dried plants. A unique place near Krakow is Lipnica Murowana, where every year there is a competition for the largest Easter palm. The highest pieces reach over 35 m in length!

 

April 18 - Holy Thursday - is a movable holiday (3 days before Easter) established in remembrance of the establishment of the sacraments: the priesthood and the Eucharist. On this day in the parish churches a solemn evening mass is celebrated (the Mass of the Lord's Supper), which begins the Paschal Triduum and ends the Lent. During the mass there is a rite of washing the feet of twelve people, called "Mandatum". After the end of the Supper, the Blessed Sacrament moves to the adoration chapel, known as "Ciemnica" (in memory of Jesus' imprisonment after the Last Supper), where he is adored until late at night and throughout Good Friday.

 

19 April - Good Friday - is a movable holiday (2 days before Easter) established to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. On this day no mass is celebrated, instead the liturgy of the word is celebrated. Before her, the Stations of the Cross is usually celebrated. After the liturgy Jesus, in the Eucharistic form, is transferred to a specially prepared adoration chapel, called the "Holy Sepulcher". Currently, they are unique artistic installations of a not only religious, but also social or political character. In every church the Tomb of the Lord will look different, so it is worth visiting at least a few churches to see different performances.

 

April 20 - Holy Saturday - a movable holiday, the penultimate day before Easter, a time of reflection and calm before Christ's Resurrection. On this day from the morning, the faithful go to churches (in villages to wayside shrines) in order to sacrifice Christmas food. The priest dismisses 20 minutes. a ritual during which sacred foods are to be prepared for the Great Sunday. Every thing that is in the basket has a symbolic overtone, and thus: bread is a symbol over symbols - it represents the Body of Christ; the egg is proof of a resurgent life, a symbol of victory over death (they come in different versions depending on the technique of decorating: “kraszanki”, “pisanki”, scraps eggs or stickers eggs); salt is a life-giving and purifying mineral; the sausage provides health, fertility and abundance; cheese is a symbol of the friendship between man and the forces of nature; horseradish - a symbol of all strength and physical comfort; the cake as a symbol of skill and perfection (Easter baba) must be made by hand. The ceremonial blessing of food will take place on the Krakow market in front of St. Mary's Basilica at 12:00.

April 21 - Great Sunday - a movable holiday, the oldest and the most important Christian holiday commemorating the Paschal mystery of Jesus Christ: his passion, death and resurrection. The rites begin on Saturday, but only after dark. In front of the church, the priest is blessed with fire, from which the paschal candle ignites. Then follows the liturgy, after it usually takes place the solemn resurrection procession with the Blessed Sacrament, around the church, which circulates once or three times. In some churches, the procession takes place before the first morning mass on Sunday before dawn. The celebration of Easter extends over the next eight days - the Easter octave, and more broadly for the entire Easter period, lasting 50 days, and whose ending is the day of Pentecost - the Sunday of the Pentecost.

 

Easter is a unique and very festive time full of secular and spiritual attractions. Come to Krakow, you will not be bored.

 

 

... Book apartments in Krakow for Easter! ...

 

 

Easter Fair in Krakow

Easter Fair in Krakow, photo: kiermasze.com.pl

 

Salt Easter egg

Salt Easter egg, photo: Radio Krakow

 

Siuda Baba

Siuda Baba, photo: wikipedia

 

Emaus

Emaus fot. Bogusław Świerzowski

 

Rękawka

Rękawka fot. lovekrakow_pl

 

Easter dishes

Easter dishes (żurek on the right)

 

 

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