Christmas markets in Małopolska are a tradition of its many cities and towns. The most popular and most prominent are those held in Kraków. Still, Miechów, Zakopane, Tarnów and Nowy Sącz where the whole event takes place in an exciting venue - Galician Town, can also boast their fairs. Now, let us focus on Kraków and what awaits visitors to the capital of Małopolska during the festive season.
The event has become a permanent fixture in the calendar of Kraków's attractions. Lasting about a month, the Christmas Market is visited by tens of thousands of people. Dozens of stalls with a variety of goods, the smell of Christmas trees, mulled wine and sparkling Christmas lights create the atmosphere of the fair, which you wait for all year long. Merchants offer a wide range of Christmas products, such as hand-made Christmas tree ornaments, Christmas decorations, ceramic, wooden, woollen and felt goods. Moreover, they sell jewellery, souvenirs, postcards or warm scarves and gloves. There are also preserves, Christmas gingerbread with dedications "For Grandpa" or "For the Beloved", roasted nuts or those in sweet caramel, and various chocolates. Surely everyone, even the most demanding, will find something for themselves and their loved ones for a Christmas gift.
What would a Christmas market be without food and warming drinks? At the market, visitors can taste delicious regional grilled dishes such as sausages or oscypek with cranberry. What is more, you can sample a slice of home-baked bread with homemade lard that’s accompanied by traditional borscht. In addition, Mulled Galician wine or warming tea is ideal for drinking while shopping. There are also numerous carol concert events happening during the Christmas Market, which make walking among the Christmas stalls even more pleasant.
Beyond the Christmas Market, Kraków puts on its Easter Market around Easter time. Pleasant Spring air, joyful holiday time and lots of colour – in such a way we can describe the atmosphere of the Easter Fair. Traditionally, the fair gathers several dozen exhibitors, often from outside Poland, at the Market Square. The assortment that can be found refers to the joyful holidays, and one can buy Easter decorations, hand-embroidered tablecloths, palms, Easter eggs or woven Easter baskets. There is also plenty of tasty food such as soups, dumplings or a traditional slice of bread with lard and pickles. Gourmets will truly find something for themselves: chocolate figurines and tools, chocolate-covered fruit, or various nuts. The Easter Fair in Kraków is accompanied by numerous events, including the blessing of the palms, a demonstration of Easter rituals, a presentation of traditional regional tables, the blessing of the Easter baskets and refreshments with blessed food, a demonstration of Śmigus-Dyngus (best watch out for that one!) and Siuda Baba rituals.
The period of Easter markets is a beautiful time when people gather in their town’s squares, eat and talk together. It is also an opportunity to please oneself or loved ones and buy something special. Be warned – it is challenging to come from a Christmas or an Easter market empty-handed!