Poland is European under the radar country because not many people around the world are aware of how beautiful it is. The history is often relating it to critical periods, Nazi camps, and war victims. But, luckily, that’s all behind us, even though the world still remembers World War II, and how bad it was for the population. But, today, Poland offers great universities and educational programs for student exchange, attractive touristic spots, beautiful places to spend time there, museums, restaurants with traditional food, and of course, annual festivals.
Sadly, most of the festivals we will mention in this article were canceled or postponed, because until now, 2020 wasn’t easy for anyone. Since the beginning of the year, the coronavirus was present between the people, resulting in a pandemic in March 2020. Many traditional events were canceled, including the Eurovision Song Contest, for the first time in history.
Some of the events in this list were held before the pandemic, but now, when the gatherings are forbidden, we can only hope that for the next year we will be able to visit Poland and see:
1. New Year’s Party Celebration in Krakow
Krakow is a popular New Year spot in the world, and people from Europe, but also from overseas are often visiting this city, so they can celebrate the New Year’s Eve with a lot of parties, events, and booze. The event is usually held at RynekGlowny arena, but also in the center of the city. You can arrive a few days earlier and explore Krakow because it also offers a lot of things worth seeing. On 31 December you will join the huge celebration, and then, you can leave the very next day, or take a few days more to see how the people live there after this festival.
2. Krakow Rugby Festival
While we are in Krakow, we should mention the Rugby Festival. This year’s event was canceled due to the corona crisis, but it’s also rescheduled for June 2021. The organizations that stay behind it are hoping everything will be fine, and if you are interested to learn more about this festival and its background, you can always visit this website and find every information that seems interesting to you.
This tradition started in the 15th century, also in Krakow, and it’s dedicated to the students who successfully finished their finals, before leaving for a vacation. It’s a parade that starts from the University, and the students are heading to the Square. But, no matter the purpose, everyone who wants to support them, can join the parade and take those steps with the students. As we all know, 2020 may be the first year when this tradition was skipped, because it was too risky for everyone.
This event is important for every student in Poland, no matter if they are part of the exchanging program or not. The whole parade is the symbol of freedom for the next three months when they will need to get back to the University and take the exams for the next year.
4. Traditional Easter Festival
Easter is a symbol of the festive season, especially when it’s announcing the warmer spring days. The celebration starts ten days before Easter and lasts until Easter Monday. The whole city of Krakow is festive, markets are open, and the visitors and locals can buy interesting handicrafts, clothes, and wooden eggs, as a symbol of Christ’s resurrection. Also, there is the delicious street food, which people that come from non-Slavic countries really love because they see something like that for the first time.
But, at the same time, they are also respectful of those who are fasting before Easter, and after Easter Sunday, they prepare delicious lamb meals, so all the people can buy and eat them.
5. Baltic Days Of Jewish Culture
This is equivalent to Woodstock, and it was first held in 1999. Since then, a lot of Polish and world artists step onto the big stage, with a focus on those with Jewish origin. During this festival, you can meet the Hebrew art, music, cuisine, tradition, and literature. It’s a musical event, but there are a lot of additional events, so you can surely find something to get interested into. This event is traditionally held in Gdansk, and of course, it was impossible in 2020.
6. Jewish Culture Festival
In the city of Warshaw, every summer is organized the Jewish Culture Festival, which combines more than 200 different events that promote the Polish and Jewish culture. Traditionally, it lasts 8 to 10 days, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 event was, sadly, canceled and postponed for the next year.
Jewish people take an important part in Polish history, and they were suffering a lot in the past, so the least Poland can do for them is to appreciate their culture and tradition with events like this.
7. Zielona Gora Wine Festival
This festival is dedicated to the vineyards, grapes, breweries, and wine, and it’s usually held in October. As we can see from the situation in the whole world, public events are still forbidden, so the chances that this festival will happen are very low. But, if it wasn’t like this, it would last nine days, with a lot of street arts, music events, theatres, and games included. The event is held in the town of Zielona Gora (the translation literally means Green Woods), which is a place where the vineyards are a basic source of income for the citizens.
Poland is a beautiful country with a specific history, culture, and tradition. It’s worth visiting, no matter where you come from. The chances that you will be able to visit is as a tourist until the end of 2020 are pretty small, or almost impossible. So, we will have to hope that next year will be better for all of us, and the coronavirus will be behind us. That means we will be able to visit every country we want and attend as many events as we can.