Looking for something to do this Easter weekend? we bring you a summary of Kraków’s traditional Easter events, the Easter Fair, Emaus and Rekąwka festivals and more.
Easter events summary (full details below)
30th March – 10th April – Easter Fair
4th – 16th April – Misteria Paschalia Festival
8th April – Traditional blessing of food
10th April – Śmigus dyngus
10th April – Emaus Fair
11th April – Rękawka Festival
Krakus Mound (Kopiec Krakusa) Tuesday 11th April
The Rękawka Fair takes place around Krakus Mound (Kopiec Krakusa) on the first Tuesday after Easter. Rękawka is popular with young and old alike, and is one of our favourites. It features, a mock medieval village, together with displays and battle re-enactments.
Full details of the event, including the programme, summary of displays/exhibitors, photos and video from past events etc can be found at:- Rękawaka Festival (centrum kultury Podgórze)
11.30 | Entrance of the warriors to the Krakus Mound
12.00 | Ritual lighting a fire on the Krakus Mound
12.30 | Parade of fully armed warriors around the Mound
13.00 | Presentation of the arriving ‘armies’
14.00 | The staging of “The Battle of the Old Gods with the New”
15.00 | Prophecy of prosperity for the city of Krakow
15.30 | The battle of the warriors: the newcomers of the Vistula vs. the settlers, or the duel of the old order with the new (with the participation of Slavic gods)
16.30 | Staging “A story about Lech, Czech and Rus – Krakow version”
17.00 | Concert of the band Daj Ognia – medieval music
17.30 |The staging of “Tryzna – Early Slavic Burial”
– Slavic settlement (historical camp)
– Arts fair, handicrafts and traditional dishes
– Building a palisade
– Slavic creatures encouraging you to settle in a new settlement
– Sanctuary where defeated gods will deceive the newcomers
– Pre-Christian temple (Gontyna)
– Children’s play area “Czędowe Igry” (12.00-17.00)
– Sales stand with official Gauntlet merchandise
– Stand of the Podgórze Culture Center
– Stand of the 13th District Council of Podgórze
– Thematic stand of the Archaeological Museum in Krakow
– curiosities related to archaeological research conducted at the Krakus Mound
– activities for children: crosswords, quizzes, educational colouring books, contests with prizes
Attractions prepared by the Museum of Krakow – Museum of Podgórze:
12.00 | Guided tour of the exhibition “Exhibition under Krak’s Mound” at the Podgórze Museum (ul. B. Limanowskiego 51) – guided by Anna Warzecha and Jakub Jastrzębski, the tour is included in the price of the exhibition ticket (PLN 1)
14.00 | Walk “Two Sleeves” (gathering at the stand of the Museum of Krakow – Museum of Podgórze for the Festival of Sleeves at the Krakus Mound), led by Melania Tutak (Museum of Podgórze)
15.00 | Presentation of “Rękawka na judej photograph” (Conference room of the Podgórze Museum, ul. B. Limanowskiego 51), led by Dr. Robert Gaweł – participation in the price of the ticket to the exhibition (PLN 1)
Monday 10th APRIL
09:00 – 17:00
Salwator, Kraków, przy ul. Senatorskiej, Kasztelańskiej i T. Kościuszki
The Emaus Indulgence festival, (Odpust Emaus) traditionally takes place on Easter Monday in Salwator, with a parade, and several stalls lining the street, offering a selection of food, toys and treats, arts and crafts. In recent years it was largely tacky cheap plastic toys and balloons on sale, but in a move to return to more traditional items, the new organisers are making efforts to get rid of the junk.
Emaus’ origins date back to the 12th century, and the atmosphere of a colourful fair known today was formed in the 19th century. The event then became a place where sweets and traditional folk toys were sold, including figurines, popular Easter decorations, Easter eggs and characteristic for Krakow Emaus trees carved in wood and decorated with wooden birds and colourful flowers.
In recent years, due to the flood of mass-produced toys and the blurring of many typically Krakow traditions, the indulgence has lost much of its authenticity. Instead of handicrafts, it was more common to find imported, plastic products that have nothing to do with the tradition of craftsmanship, nor with folk or Easter creativity. The event was chaotic and the goods were presented at random and inconsistent stands.
In the opinion of experts on Emaus, the tradition of artistic craftsmanship is disappearing, commercialisation prevails over cultural functions, and mass-produced items from Asia are replacing what was once the essence of the assortment of the fair.
“We want to stop the advancing commercialisation and eliminate controversial products available at the fair. I believe that it will be possible to gradually restore what has built the fame of Krakow’s Emaus over the centuries, that the historical context and tourist potential of this unique event will help us bring closer and promote Krakow’s rich cultural heritage”, explains Robert Piaskowski, Mayor’s Plenipotentiary for Culture.
Odpust Emaus Facebook page
Easter Fair (Jarmark Wielkanocny)
30th March – 10th April,
One of the highlights of the Easter period, the popular and colourful Easter Fair on Rynek. The Easter market consists of 82 stalls selling Easter arts and crafts, painted eggs and all things Easter, together with a programme of traditional performances.
• 11.00 – Solemn blessing of Easter baskets with the participation of the city authorities and the Church of Krakow
10th April 18 (Monday)
• 14.00 – Easter traditions and rituals: “Siuda Baba” – Folklore Association “Regional Theatre” and “Teatr Po Latach”
Misteria Paschalia Festival
The 20th jubilee edition of the Misteria Paschalia Festival will take place, this year the program will focus on celebrating the history of the festival. Misteria Paschalia is one of the most important early music festivals in Europe, which since 2004 has been discovering and presenting compositions related to the times of Holy Week and Easter.Misteria Paschalia Festival offers a selection of outstanding works by distinguished composers that have already been performed at the Misteria Paschalia Festival on many occasions, such as the arrangement of the Stabat Mater sequence by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (probably the most famous one), Dietrich Buxtehude ‘s Membra Jesu nostri or a selection from Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Leçons de Tenebrae. We will also offer works to be presented for the first time, such as Michelangelo Falvetti’s oratorio Il diluvio universale and Heinrich Schütz’s Da Jesus an dem Kreuze stund. We will hear what the festival audiences loves the most, namely passion songs, music by masters of the French Baroque and the Italian South.
Additional information and the program can be found on the website of the Misteria Paschalia festival .
Traditional Easter Food Blessing
Saturday 8th April
On Easter Saturday, 8th April, as part of the Easter Fair, on Rynek, Easter food will be blessed. The Mayor of Krakow Jacek Majchrowski, the chairman of the Krakow City Council, Rafał Komarewicz and the Archbishop of Krakow, Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski, will meet for a joint celebration of Easter greetings.
Public Transport – Easter Schedule.
Changes to the Public transport timetables will take place over the Easter holidays, with some bus and tram routes suspended. Full details can be found at Easter Public Transport Schedule (www.krakow.pl)
Easter Shopping Hours
Most shops will be closed for the Easter break, with the usual exceptions of a few small owner operated shops. Generally the opening hours will be :
David fell in love with Kraków 24 years ago, making it his home in 2011.
In 2020 he was awarded the title of Kraków’s Ambassador of Multiculturalism, by the President of Kraków, and is also a member of the GlobalScot network, representing Scottish culture and business abroad.
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