Here in Kraków and across Poland, we are enjoying the traditional May holiday long weekend, (Majówka), one of the main holiday weekends of the year. 

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 !

20th Anniversary of Polands accession to the European Union. (Thanks Brexshiteers!)
State, city and European Union flags will be flown in Krakow on the buildings of the Krakow City Hall and the Municipal Buildings Authority.

The flagpoles in front of the City Hall at All Saints Square will be decorated in the colours of the state, city and the European Union, and the buildings of municipal organisational units and municipal companies will be decorated in these colours.

Twenty years ago, Poland, together with Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary, joined the European Union.

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 3rd May 1792, on the first anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of 3rd 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 1st 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. The President of Kraków has made an appeal for residents to fly the flag on their homes and buildings.

The red and white will also be flown from official buildings and displayed electronically at the usual places. You will also see other flags; the blue/white city flag, the blue/yellow National flag of Ukraine, in solidarity with our Ukrainian neighbours, and the EU flag, as May 1st marks the 19th Anniversary of Poland’s accession to the EU in 2004.

    EU 20th Anniversary – Kraków in the EU Summary (pdf download in English)

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. This year marks the 233rd anniversary of the adoption of the May 3rd Constitution

4th May – Fire Fighter’s Day, (Dzień Strażaka), not really a holiday as such,  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 sometimes a parade around the Rynek of firefighters, on horseback, vintage and contemporary fire appliances. (I couldn’t find any info on a parade this year)

FIRE-DAY

Majówka events in Kraków
A number of events and performances are taking place over the holiday weekend, including, concert of patriotic songs, walks and family events, OFFCamera – a celebration of independent cinema and a variety of cultural performances.

Friday 26th April
17th edition of the Mastercard OFF CAMERA festival
Since 2008, Mastercard OFF CAMERA has been promoting independent cinema from all over the world. Time for the festival’s 16th birthday and a new opening. The festival started on 26th April  and will run until 5th May.

Tuesday 30th April
Beltaine Fire Festival
Krakus Mound
from 7.10pm

Information from event organisers:-

Summer is fast approaching, let’s celebrate its beginning during the Fire Festival – Beltaine! We cordially invite you to celebrate together at the Krak Mound! May the Sun shine on the paths of your life!

It is one of the four most important holidays of the year, the Greater Sabbath, also known as Walpurgis Night 🙂 We will light new fires as tradition dictates 🙂 This holiday is a holiday of joy. It begins the summer, warm and bright half of the year. Beltaine itself translates as The Fires of Bel. This means that it is the Festival of Fire and Sun. Let’s be happy! Come in droves and invite your friends!

We meet at 7:10 p.m. at the Krak Mound, and from there we will go together to the place of the Rite. The meeting point is the area on the northern side of the Mound, where the trees come closest to the Mound.

We will also pray for Ukraine, so please bring Ukrainian flags or yellow and blue cloth as an offering.

What do you need to take with you? We bring candles, preferably white, gold and red, torches are also recommended. In addition, various things for sacrifice – honey, fruit, bread and cookies, eggs, dairy products, meat (just not pork). Flowers are very important – bring as many as you can!

We also ask you to take some mead! It will also be worth stocking up on camping supplies – the place of the Rite is not close to the store. The night may be cold – take something warm to wear. The texts of the Rite will be available for download at the link provided later – please print out the texts before the holiday and bring them to the celebration.

Thursday 2nd May
On roller skates and scooters for white and red (dla biało-czerwonej)
Participants of the family event “For the white and red” will ride through the streets of Krakow on roller skates, scooters and skateboards in white and red costumes .

The event is scheduled for Thursday, 2nd May, at 11.30 in the yard of the Youth Center at ul. Krupnicza 38, and the start at 12.30. Commemorative diplomas, discount cards and patriotic materials are provided for the participants.

Detailed information (regulations, route map) can be found here.

Friday 3rd May
Official Parade and wreath laying ceremonies
9am onwards
Various locations then Pl Matejki
On Friday, the celebration of the anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of May 3rd will begin with the laying of flowers – first, together with the authorities of the Jagiellonian University, the voivode will lay flowers at 9am at the Hugo Kołłątaj Monument, then at 9.45am at the Monument to the Fighting Polish Soldiers in Powiśle.

At. At 10 a.m., a holy mass will begin in the Wawel Cathedral, after which a solemn patriotic procession will set off from the Hill. The gathered will stop at the Katyń Cross on Plac im. Adam Studziński, then they will cross Grodzka, through the Market Square, Floriańska to Jan Matejko Square.

There, in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the national anthem will be sung. A solemn changing of the guard will take place and the Appeal of Remembrance will be read. Then, the Governor of Lesser Poland, Łukasz Kmita, will present state decorations and certificates of acquisition of Polish citizenship.

At the end, there will be a parade of vehicles representing uniformed services and horse formations.

Program of celebrations of the 3rd May National Day in Krakow:
9.45 – laying flowers at the Monument to the Soldiers of Fighting Poland, ul. Powiśle
10.00 – mass for the homeland, Wawel Cathedral
11.30 – laying flowers at the Katyn Cross, pl. Father Adam Studziński
12.15 – celebrations in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with the participation of the Polish Army, Jan Matejko Square:presentation of state decorations and acts of granting Polish citizenship
speech by the voivode of Lesser Poland, laying of wreaths culminating in a parade along Basztowa Street.

87th Kraków Patriotic songs, ‘singing lesson’
Mały Rynek
5pm
“May Dawn” („Majowa Jutrzenka”) – is the title of the 87th Krakow Singing Lesson, (Lekcja Śpiewania), which will take place on Wednesday, 3rd May, at 5.00 p.m. in Mały Rynek.

Patriotic songs will be performed during the concert with the participation of the artists of the Loch Camelot Theatre with the audience joining in with a singalong. The lesson will be conducted by Waldemar Domański – the initiator of the event and the director of the Polish Song Library.

The Polish Song Library has prepared 2,000 free songbooks. The paper version of the songbook is not the only option to sing together – download the songbook to your phone from the Polish Song Library website .

34th Ride of the “Patriotic tram”
On Wednesday, 3rd May – the traditional white and red tram will travel through the streets of Krakow, in which volunteers will hand out free songbooks of Polish patriotic songs, flags in national colours, leaflets, stickers etc.

The patriotic tram starts at 10:30am from Teatr Bagatella and runs until 2:30pm.

 icon-link Public Transport changes over the Holiday Weekend
 icon-link May weekend bus schedule to the Zoo and Ocjów

KRAKÓW MUSEUMS OPENING HOURS
1st May  (Wednesday) & 2nd May  (Thursday) check details in this link.
3rd May  (Friday) – all branches closed

Kraków Museum MK – Holiday Opening Schedule

National Museum of Kraków (NM Holiday Opening Schedule

24 HOUR & HOLIDAY PHARMACIES

PARKING
Please remember that the May weekend is no longer one of the holidays eligible for free parking.  You have to buy a parking ticket over the Majówka weekend.

On the upcoming holiday days, May 1 and 3, fees will be charged for parking in the Paid Parking Area –

The free parking days are:-
January 1 – New Year
The second day of Easter
November 1 – All Saints’ Day
December 24 – Christmas Eve
December 25 – the first day of Christmas
December 26 – the second day of Christmas.

Full details of all of the above events, and more can be found at krakow.pl

Have a great Majówka!


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