Christmas Market on the Main Square in Krakow
White Christmas reminds me of my childhood.. Now, I’m no longer a child and white Christmas in Kraków is a rarity. However despite of the weather a festive ambient is all around the city.
Xmas period starts already in November: the obvious signs are the song “Last Xmas” by Wham! played in a radio and Xmas decorations in the supermarkets… so commercialized ?
In reality, the Yuletide in Poland officially begins on December 24th and continues till February 2nd.
The Christmas market in Kraków is one of regular features of the city’s festive season. Traditionally it starts in the last week of November and lasts till December 26th at least if not prolonged till January 6th, the Epiphany festival.
The Main Market Square has been a trade venue since the Middle Ages until nowadays. Traditional wooden stalls aligned in the city center attract many visitors. They look out for Xmas decorations, gifts, toys, cards etc. If you need a unique masterpiece and you are ready to pay more than for a Chinese adornment you should get a glass bauble. Hand made, decorated in a different pattern are the highlights of the market.
Ones you feasted your eyes on you should not forget about your body’s needs ?
Shopping spree can be dulcified by hot, nutritious dishes. You will be attracted by a smell of osypek – smoked grilled cheese served with a cranberry jam, bigos- a hunter’s stew, kapuśniak- cabbage soup, grilled sausage. Douse yourself in mulled wine seasoned with clove, cinnamon, raisins and nuts.
Another attraction is the occasional free entertainment, usually provided by children ensembles and village artists singing carols.
You can’t miss an exposition in a branch of Historical Museum of Kraków – the Krzysztofory palace. There are dozens of Nativity Scenes- szopki on display. The tradition of creating cribs dates back to the 19th century when craftsmen made decorations in order to earn some money during winter. First competition though was held in December 1937 and the tournament takes place every year on the first Thursday of December. The cribs’ characteristic features resemble historical buildings of Kraków. In some, immobile wooden figurines are replaced by movable puppets, at times depicting historical or legendary figures. Detailed, colorful, sparkly masterpieces are definitely worth paying a visit!