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70th Jubilee Kraków Christmas Crib Contest and Exhibition

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Thursday 6th December to Sunday 24th February, Krzysztofory Palace, Rynek Główny 35

One of Kraków’s most idiosyncratic Christmas traditions is the popular creation of ‘szopki.’ Something of a strange cross between a nativity scene, gingerbread house and dollhouse, these unique structures more resemble colourful, foil covered castles or cathedrals than cribs and are the bizarre result of a folk tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages. Re-popularised in 1937 with the first official Christmas Crib Competition, this year marks the historic 70th edition.

On December 6th at 10:00, artists will display their creations to the public around the market square’s Adam Mickiewicz monument. Later they will be moved indoors to the History Museum on the other side of the Rynek, where they will be on display throughout the holidays until February 24th. On Sunday December 9th awards will be given at 14:00 to the winners in a number of categories.

Anyone visiting Kraków should absolutely pay a visit to the History Museum in order to experience this unique folk tradition.

November 30, 2012 Posted by | Events, News, Recommendations | Leave a comment

Krakow Christmas Markets

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Main Market Square

One of the season’s most popular highlights is the annual Christmas fair on the main market square – a tradition started before WWII and rekindled after the fall of communism (when people were allowed to buy and possess things again).

Occupying the south-west corner of the Rynek, this year’s fair features some 50 rustic, wooden stalls selling all kinds of folk art and Christmas ornaments, candies and sweets, knitwear, toys, souvenirs, jewellery, pottery, partridges, pear trees and more.

Christmas tree in old Krakow

Food vendors will also be dishing up hot food, over which families share picnic tables and keep warm with the hot mulled wine (called ‘grzaniec’) dispensed from enormous barrels nearby.

Somewhere close at hand Saint Nick will be posing with the little ones illuminated by an enormous evergreen as carolling is the air and random acts of holiday spirit take place on a cultural stage nearby.


The stalls are generally open from 10:00 – 20:00 and the atmosphere will remain intact until December 26th when most will close, though the market itself doesn’t officially close until the Sunday after the three Kings Day parade on January 8th.

Galician Advent Fair

This year Kraków boasts a second holiday fair located on Plac Jezioranskiego in front of Galeria Krakowska and the train station. In what looks set to establish itself as a new city tradition, this
small holiday market features mostly local vendors selling a range of regional foods, traditional handicrafts, decorations and more, from wooden stalls arranged around the ice rink that
occupies the square in winter.

Not only that, but there’s also a beautiful carousel (open daily 10:00-22:00), a stage for concerts by live bands and carollers, daily workshops for children and other events throughout the month.

Open until December 24th, with vendor stalls open from 10:00 – 22:00 each day, this new
holiday market is less congested than the Rynek and absolutely worth checking out.

November 30, 2012 Posted by | Events, Krakow Travel Advice, News | | Leave a comment

   

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