Events and festivals throughout Poland
Traditionally this fair celebrates St Dominic with markets and entertainment. The beginning is marked by the ringing of bells on the 4th August and today, the celebrations continue for three weeks. The fair covers several squares within the city each with its own speciality, crafts, souvenirs, gastronomy etc. Rock and classical music concerts are staged; fireworks, sporting events and parades enliven the event.
Christmas markets have been held for centuries in all the cities of Europe. Those in the largest Polish cities are a major attraction for people planning their Christmas shopping. The largest Christmas market takes place every year on the Main Square in Krakow. The fair is accompanied by many events: singing and performances. Merchants offer a wide range of craft products and regional foods. Similar markets are held from late November to Boxing Day in Warsaw, Wrocław, Gdańsk, Toruń and elsewhere.
Held in the Kazimierz district, the Jewish Festival grew from a small local event in 1988 to one of the most important cultural events in Poland. Outside of Poland, the festival is one of the best known and appreciated by both artists and public. Every year the festival features almost 300 events over 10 days. 30,000 participants from around the world take part in lectures, discussions, guided tours, and of course in various musical events, from concerts to discos.
The first Night of Museums took place in Berlin in 1997, and the concept quickly spread through Europe. Currently over 120 European cities organise their own museum nights. Museums have free entry throughout the night and transport is also free to participants. Over two hundred institutions participate, and the visitors total around 200,000 over the course of the night. Krakow offers this marvellous cultural opportunity a day earlier.
Every year thousands of people make the traditional pilgrimage to one of the world’s most important shrines. The small 15th century Chapel of the Blessed Virgin, located in the Monastery of Jasna Góra in Częstochowa, is home to ‘The Black Madonna’ believed to have been painted by St Luke on a table top once used by the Holy Family. Częstochowa, 140 kms north-west of Kraków, has been the spiritual capital of Central Europe for over six hundred years.
For over 50 years, Chopin Open Air Concerts have been held at the foot of the Fryderyk Chopin Monument in Łazienki Royal Park. Eminent pianists perform every Sunday from mid-May until the end of September. Hugely popular with Warsaw residents and visitors alike, they are a unique opportunity to listen to classical music in one of Warsaw’s most beautiful parks.
Krakow szopka is a Christmas tradition from the 19th century of creating nativity scene models. The background to the nativity is usually depicted as a recognisable historical local building such as St Mary's Basilica, Sukiennice trade hall or Wawel Castle. The event is held at the Main Square, where, on the first Thursday of December, children and adults bring their handcrafted szopkas.
The Constitution of 3rd May, 1791 is considered one of the most important achievements in the history of Poland, despite being in effect for only a year, until the Russo-Polish War of 1792. This day is seen as Poland's most important holiday ever since Poland regained independence in 1918. Its importance for the Polish people has been compared to that of 4th July to the Americans. In modern Poland, many parades, exhibitions, concerts and speeches are held.
The Festival has been held in Poznan for 12 years. Every year it attracts the most renowned ice artists from all over the world, whose works are admired by thousands of Poznan residents and visitors. In the Old Market Square, the medieval heart of the city, visitors can watch the process of creating the unique sculptures. There are speed carving and freestyle competitions during the two-day festival.