Ideal for these who want to enjoy winter, tradition and the atmosphere of the most charming Polish city – Krakow! Christmas is widely celebrated in Poland and is one of the most colourful and interesting periods in the Polish calendar. Spending Christmas in Krakow is a good lesson of the Polish culture, cuisine and hospitality. There is several things to learn remember about before you plan to spend Christmas in Krakow: Come not later than 23rd of December to have chance to visit the beautiful Krakow Christmas Market. See the exhibition of the famous (and really extra ordinary) Krakow Christmas cribs in the Historical Museum. Remember your stomach for the Christmas Eve dinner with... traditional 12 dishes (including e.g. cabbage, mushrooms, dumplings, beetroot soups and carp). and then for a big dinner on the 25 the and 26th of December... The gifts are unwrapped on the 24th December. Before Christmas Eve dinner starts people share the special wafer wishing luck to each other. To get the real spirit of Christmas in Krakow – come to the Main Market Square 24th December at midnight... you see hundreds of people going to churches to attend the special midnight Mass. Visit the Franciscans Monastery to see the real living Christmas Crib!
Krakow Christmas Cribs
This custom began in XIX century in the neighbourhood of Krakow by very poor builders. During autumn and winter they started to build mobile stages to perform the story about Jesus Christ’ birth. It was a puppet performance and these mobile stages were built of weightless wood and the cardboard. The typical parts of the constructions were the very high towers – the same as in Krakow churches. Through the years during Christmas Time carollers with their cribs gathered at the Main Market Square and waited to be invited to the rich houses. After the 1st World War it seemed that this custom had been finished, but it was not true. On 21st December 1937 this tradition revived and the 1st Christmas Cribs competition took place on that day. Krakow Christmas Cribs are very characteristic in their architecture, rich, and full of colours. Towers of St. Mary’s Church, the chapel of Zygmunt’s Dome in the Wawel Cathedral, the Florian’s Gate, the Barbican and the Cloth Hall on the Main Market Square – are motives, which carollers with the cribs used very often. The beautiful architecture of Christmas Cribs is marked by a lot of ornaments, stained glasses, and the puppets. Christmas Cribs have a lot of tiers and the recesses. You can find there not only the Holy Family with Jesus laying in the crib, but also Cracovians in their folk gears, angels, musicians, and the characters from Polish legends: Krakow’s Dragon, Lajkonik, Mr. Twardowski, and a trumpeter from the tower of St. Mary's Church.