Guest Author - Barbara Swiech
Christmas in Krakow is one of the most appreciated periods among the tourists and the locals. But one can feel it already in the beginning of December – when all the embellishments start to beautify the city. Exceptional atmosphere, that the visitors will encounter till beginning of February, will give you the feeling that the time has stopped and the tradition has overtaken the city. Apart from common decorations one will easily notice that this place offers its visitors peculiar customs – some of which are characteristic only for Krakow and have been celebrated here since hundreds of years.
On the last day of the year, Krakow Main Market Square hosts one of the biggest parties ever! Visitors and locals express their joy over the forthcoming year with the glass of champaigne.
The Royal City of Krakow is beautiful during every time of the year – but only right before and after Christmas numerous decorations invite the visitors to share the ambience of this special and exceptional period. Gleaming ornaments embellish streets and shop-windows to let the visitors feel at home even in small shops or enormous shopping malls, where one stops by to purchase gifts for relations and friends.
But the feeling of Christmas is not stronger anywhere else than in Krakow churches that enchant service attendees with beautiful scenes depicting the small shed where Jesus Christ was born. Starting from midnight (24/25 December) Catholic shrines are turned at the same time into music scenes – where each person can express his joy over Christmas by singing Christmas carols and pastorals. No other music can be sung in the crowd of strangers and felt so passionately and personally.
Of course, when being in Krakow in Winter you cannot miss the walk around the Old Town where the smell of grilled highlanders’ cheese will attract you to couple of stalls serving traditional Polish dishes. If you do not feel comfortable to walk in the freeze (that is always possible during this time of the year in Krakow) just stop buy to drink hot wine that is served in small barrel-shaped stands at the Christmas Market in Krakow. After this kind of warm-up you will be able to continue your walk around the fabulous scene of Krakow Christmas tradition.