Panorama of Krakow, Photo by Łukasz Kosowski
Main Market Square
The Main Market Square or Rynek Główny is the largest medieval square in Europe, and is the heart of the tourist town in Krakow, with both locals and visitors coming together. During any given month, the Main Square is bustling with market stalls and events, with stages often set up for large concerts.
The square itself used to be filled with market stalls, organized by products, with butchers on one end, and fabrics being sold in the Cloth Hall or Sukiennice.
Now market stalls selling souvenirs’, flowers, and handmade crafts, with larger and more festival-like markets occurring around holidays, especially Easter and Christmas.
Murales In the streets of Krakow, Photo by Łukasz Kosowski
Street art Gallery, Photo by Łukasz Kosowski
Poland’s national culture emerged as a synthesis of Latin and Byzantine influences and was further engendered by the numerous European occupations, throughout its history. Customs, traditions and mores display a diverse mix of the East and the West – a colorful cohabitation of the vibrant Eastern ornamental style and the somber Islamic influence.
Customs and Traditions
Krakowian Dance in the old market square
Poles are gregarious in character and love to show affection during interaction. The word “czesc” is Polish for “hi”, however, even an English “hello” is guaranteed to start an avalanche of greetings with faces beaming, all around. The first few minutes of any meeting is spent in greeting each other and shaking hands. Familiarity is expressed with embraces and pecks on the cheek. To the unaccustomed eye, it may appear to be disconcerting at first, however it is nothing but an example of Eastern fervor
Bruderszaft – is a fraternal toast, a sealing of comradeship and declining it can be seen as an insult. Relationships become more cordial after this ceremony and people graduate to using first name of each other. Bruderszaft is two people raising toasts simultaneously with arms interlocked and downing their drinks together. The last part is an exchange of kisses and a call by name.
The “traditional music revival” is a fairly recent phenomenon in Poland. It emerged about fifteen years ago, although groups inspired by folklore existed earlier than that – still, folk began to be perceived as a separate current in music .
Its a grass-roots movement, created by people fascinated with folk music and culture, often self-taught (just like the ancient folk musicians), exploring the arcana of musical tradition on their own. Owing to that, “filtering” the sounds of the past through their modern artistic sensitivity, they are not afraid of incorporating risky and unconventional ideas into their arrangements and performances.
Monophonic songs , harmonica polska, suka bilgorajska and lira korbowa, lyrics full of symbols . Dances mixed with a rhythms , kujawiak, mazurek, oberek, polonez creates traditional soul of the Country.
Poland is a haven for food buffs. Polish cuisine ranges from the simple to the exotic, with a dish to suit the most eclectic and eccentric of taste buds. In Poland, you have staple foods, seasonal foods as well as territorial foods.
Polish food is usually very wholesome and people consume large portions. The cuisine had definite leanings towards meat, although Poles do consume diary products and vegetables and especially root vegetables. Polish food goes down well with vodka. The variety of flavors is incredibly wide and can satisfy anybody’s taste.
In any Polish dish, you will be sure to find a smattering of any of beetroot, cucumber, sour cream, egg, mushroom, caraway seed, or sausage.
Most traditional and loved polish dish is Pierogi ,dumpling fulfill with anything and everything , starting from meat , cheese, vegetables and ending with blueberry )
Given the wide variety of dishes available, some exotic ones at that, Poland surely has on offer, gastronomic treats fit for the king.
A must try in Krakow is Krakow bagel , can be found every corner and tasted anytime! 🙂
Obwarzanki krakowskie- Bagels from Krakow