Here in Kraków and across Poland, we are all enjoying the traditional May holiday weekend, (Majówka), but once again, this year, Covid (and the weather) are conspiring to restrict family fun and official events.
That said, there is still a limited programme of official events (mostly, but not only – online), where people are doing their best to enjoy and make the most of ‘Majówka’, which is considered, by many, to be the favourite holiday weekend.
Traditional May Holidays
1st May – Labour Day, (Swieto Pracy) is one of those legacies from communist times, and is celebrated around the world, sometimes known as workers day. Of course the Poles have put their communist past behind them, but why would they give up the holiday !
2nd May – Flag Day, (Dzień Flagi Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej), A holiday introduced in 2004, it commemorates raising the flag on Siegessäule during the Battle of Berlin.
The now familiar red and white colours of the flag were first recognised as the national colours on 3 May 1792, on the first anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of 3 May. They were officially adopted as the colours of the Polish State by the Sejm of the Kingdom of Poland in 1831 during the November Uprising. After Poland regained independence, the appearance of the Polish flag was confirmed by the Legislative Sejm on 1 August 1919.
On this day, Poles reflect upon the long history of the red and white national colours and proudly display flags outside their houses.
3rd May – Constitution Day, (Święto Konstytucji 3 Maja) is a much more important celebration of Poland’s independence and nationalism. Commemorating the signing of Poland’s and Europe’s first national constitution signed in 1791 in Warsaw.
4th May – Fire Fighter’s Day, (Dzień Strażaka), not really a holiday as such, but – in normal, non-covid – times, worth checking out the parade if the kids, or the kid inside you are into fire engines, old and new, big and small, four wheeled and four legged ! Fire Fighters Day coincides with International Firefighters’ Day, established in 2002. Usually there is a parade around the Rynek of firefighters, on horseback, vintage and contemporary fire appliances.
In Kraków the main Majówka events are:-
Sunday 2nd May
The Krakow Museum invites you to the Barbican (10.00-17.00). These are the last days when you can visit the post-competition exhibition of Emaus trees presented there. Emaus trees refer to traditional toys that could be found at the stalls of the annual church fair held near the Norbertine convent in Zwierzyniec on the second day of Easter. This year, due to the pandemic, “Emaus’ was canceled, however on 2nd May, a Game Fair, will be held.
The game fair is taking place today (2nd May) on al Focha, by Błonia. Read more here.
The Unity Club of the Kraków – Nowa Huta Cultural Centre will present the residents with white and red national symbols, encouraging them to display them during the May weekend. The flags were sewn from materials purchased under the Civic Budget. All those who collect the flags are encouraged to upload photos and follow the initiative on Facebook .
Also on 2nd May at 10.00 Klub Dukat offers a short literary documentary „Biało-Czerwona” prepared to celebrate the Day of the Republic of Polish flags. The film will be presented on the Club ‘s Facebook profile .
Tuesday 3rd May
The traditional Singing Lesson (Lekcja Śpiewania), normally held on Mały Rynek, will take place online this year, for obvious reasons.
The Polish Song Library Culture Centre (Ośrodek Kultury Biblioteka Polskiej Piosenki), invites you to the premiere of music videos prepared especially for the holiday. It will be held on May 3 at 12.00 on the city’s website, on the Bibliotapiosenki.pl and PLAY KRAKÓW . The material will also be broadcast on TVP Kraków and Radio Kraków.
Songs will be performed by the artists of the Loch Camelot Theatre. The songs will be accompanied by a commentary by Waldemar Domański, the originator of the Krakow Singing Lessons and the director of the Polish Song Library, who will talk about the history of Poland through the prism of the laws that regulated the Polish system – from Henrician articles to the Polish Constitution.
The Polish Song Library has also prepared a website: www.pwiedznikpokonstytucji.pl , which extends the knowledge of the film.
Also on 3rd May, on the PLAY KRAKÓW platform, the KTO Theatre will present a show entitled „Biało-Czerwona”. The material will be available free of charge from 6pm.
Then at 7.00 pm The Mirage Club (Klub Mirage) invites you to another concert performed by Karolina Kruczała (violin) and Mariusz Kruczała (accordion) from the „Liaitańskie wieczory muzyczne” series , this time dedicated to the anniversary of the May 3rd Constitution.
The concert ” Musical history lesson” (Muzyczna lekcja historii) presented on the Club ‘s Facebook profile will be an opportunity to reflect on contemporary Poland, the constitution, democracy and freedom.
Podgórze Cultural Centre invites you to participate in field games. “Patronki street Nowy Bieżanów” is a family field game that takes place in the Bieżanów Nowy estate. You can take part in it on May 1-7, applications are accepted until May 6.
Detailed information along with the map can be obtained by e-mail, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org . In turn, “The Witcher’s Order for Podgórze Monsters” is a fantasy field game carried out on the route: Stare Podgórze, Krzemionki, Krakus Mound, Bonarka Reserve. You can take part in the game until May 15. Participants will receive information and a map by e-mail, contact: Edukacja@ckpodgorza.pl . Participation in the games is free.
Proposals for art lovers
The Nowa Huta Cultural Centre (NCK) invites you to see exhibitions displayed at the NCK headquarters at al. Jana Pawła II 232 – of course, in compliance with the sanitary guidelines. The exhibition “About time” („O czasie”) was prepared by educators of the Faculty of Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts. E. Geppert in Wrocław. “Colors of the world of nature 2021” („Barwy świata przyrody 2021” ) is a proposal of the Association of Polish Nature Photographers – Krakow District.
NCK also offers an exhibition of photographs by Andrzej Kalinowski “Lofoten – the pearl of Scandinavia” („Lofoty – perła Skandynawii” ) (the exhibition will last until May 30), as well as an exhibition of sculptures by students, graduates and teachers of the First Sculpture Studio of the Academy of Fine Arts. J. Matejko in Krakow entitled “U_lotne 2”- an opportunity to see the works from May 3 to 30. Additional information on the NCK website .
On May 1, the Kraków – Nowa Huta Cultural Center made available a photo report by Sebastian Włodek. It is a photographic account of visits in a prison in Nowa Huta, full of emotional and non-obvious frames. Due to the applicable restrictions, the exhibition is presented in the windows of the Wersalik Club, thanks to which it will be possible to admire it from the outside.
The exhibition of photographs by Katarzyna and Kamil Nice Sorockiego entitled “Nowa Huta side of NATURE ” („Nowa Huta od NATURY strony”) Cultural Center invites you to them. CK Norwid. The exhibition can be viewed throughout Majówka at Cafe NOWA Księgarnia (Os. Zgody 7).
On the weekend in May, you can also take advantage of the virtual offers of the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery , which encourages the use of online educational materials – link here , workshops and tours available on Play Kraków , as well as to see Cracoviana virtual exhibitions .
On the municipal vod platform we can also find materials prepared by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow MOCAK : meeting “Władysław Stróżewski, Jan Woleński, Adam Zagajewski and Maria Anna Potocka talk about Roman Ingarden” („O Romanie Ingardenie rozmawiają Władysław Stróżewski, Jan Woleński, Adam Zagajewski i Maria Anna Potocka”) – link here and MOCAK Studio. Marcin Berdyszak. “The wheels of madness” („Koła obłędu”) – link here . MOCAK also invites you to view the year-round outdoor exhibition Collection around MOCAK . – Kolekcja wokół MOCAK-u.
Virtual walks, shows, concerts and podcasts
The Orchestra of the Royal Capital City of Krakow Sinfonietta Cracovia invites you to PLAY KRAKÓW, where recordings of the internationally renowned percussion virtuoso – Martin Grubinger are available.
The Groteska Theater invites viewers to the virtual stage of Groteska. One of the favourite shows of young viewers – “Trzy Świnki” by Lech Walicki, will appear on the theatre’s YouTube channel .
We also encourage you to watch the interviews and concerts available on the channel of Dworek Białoprądnicki: Dworek TV Culture Centre prepared as part of the “Spring explosion of culture at Dworek TV”, as well as to participate in virtual walks to which the Villa Decius Institute of Culture invites you to join.
In addition, the Museum of Municipal Engineering reminds that on the mimcast.pl website and podcast platforms it has already made available over twenty interesting conversations on various topics related to the city, science and museum – who has not yet had time to listen to them, can make up for it during the picnic.
May weekend evenings accompanied by films with Krakow in the background
May weekend evenings can be spent with PLAY KRAKÓW , where among the novelties we can find “The Red Captain” with Maciej Stuhr in the lead role, the famous “Kler” and “Under the strong angel” by Wojciech Smarzowski or “The Lady from kindergarten” with a plethora of Polish actors: Krystyna Janda, Agata Kulesza, Karolina Gruszka and Adam Woronowicz. The films that are already in the Film Krakow tab or are about to appear in it were created as part of the Regional Film Fund. The fund co-produces film projects related to Kraków and Małopolska. You can already find free documents, short films and feature films from PLN 9 on PLAY KRAKÓW.
Rest, also from the virtual world
The theater turned into a picnic offers an event full of meditation and relaxation. “Trees” (Drzewa) is a musical and theatrical relaxation prepared in such a way as to participate in it in a chosen space – preferably in a forest, park or garden. Additional information here .
May 3, according to the calendar of unusual holidays, is also No Computer Day. On this occasion, the Dukat Club of the Krakow – Nowa Huta Cultural Center invites you to take part in the “300 minutes without a computer” („300 minut bez komputera”) challenge and encourage you to check what will happen when we abandon laptops, telephones, computers or other electronic devices and use the Club’s offer to spend offline time.
And we suggest that a very good form of rest and spending time away from computer screens and telephones are walks. If you go to Krakow’s Main Market Square, don’t forget to check under the yellow umbrellas. And buy a bouquet to support Krakow florists .
(KED Note:- Much of the above has been Google translated from Polish articles. I’ve done a fair amount of tidying up the poorly translated sections, please forgive any awkward text I may (pun intended) have missed, normally I’d proofread and correct it a bit more comprehensively, but it is a holiday weekend for me too 😉 )
A Scot in Kraków. The founder and editor of Kraków Expats Directory, and our sister site Kraków TV www.krakowtv.pl.
David fell in love with Kraków 23 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.
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