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Kraków Easter Market & Celebrations 2024

Come to see how Kraków celebrates Easter—some of the local traditions date back to the 16th century

Dates: March 21–April 2, 2024

Kraków Easter Market & Celebrations
Kraków Easter Market & Celebrations

Easter is one of the most important holidays in Poland. The whole Holy Week is filled with traditions and special occasions. The festive season opens with the Easter Fair in Kraków’s Main Square, and people celebrate every day through Easter Tuesday through unique events in and around Krakow.

Easter Fair in Kraków’s Main Square (March 21–April 2, 2024, TBA)

One of the most popular places during the Easter season is Kraków Easter Market. It's held annually in the Old Town's central square Rynek Główny (Kraków’s Main Square). Kraków Easter Market denotes the beginning of the holiday season in the city. The dates may vary, but usually, the event takes place for about ten days leading to Easter Sunday and overlaps with the Holy Week. The final day is normally Easter Monday or Tuesday. Easter Fair is a perfect place to purchase cute festive souvenirs. Also, locals come here for the traditional handmade "palms" of dried flowers and plants to be blessed on Palm Sunday.

Palm Sunday: Palm & Craft Competition in Lipnica Murowana (March 24, 2024)

Other festivities also start on Palm Sunday, when palm branches get blessed. The village of Lipnica Murowana, about 40 miles (60 km) southeast of Kraków, holds an annual palm competition, attracting 15,000 spectators with its festive atmosphere and various man-made palms, reaching up to 100 feet (30 m). People also have their own palm branches blessed during a mass service on the market square.

Easter Saturday (March 30, 2024)

On Easter Saturday, Polish families bring food to church to be blessed. People bring baskets with bread, sausages, eggs, salt, and horseradish, and each of the components has its own symbolic meaning. As long as Jesus Christ sacrificed himself to save mankind from suffering on this day, Easter is actually a holiday of mixed sorrow and joy. Easter eggs symbolize the beginning of the new life, the salt is a weapon against evil spirits and misleading ideas, and the bread symbolizes the body of Jesus.

Easter Sunday (March 31, 2024)

On Easter Sunday after church, families gather for a festive meal. Before the meal begins, people take a small piece of a blessed egg and exchange wishes. The Easter morning meal also includes sausage, ham, pate, potato salad, and beets. The only hot dish served is żurek (Polish rye soup) and white sausages. There are also plenty of desserts, like mazurek (a pie with icing), makowiec (poppy seed pie), and a kind of cheesecake.

If you're into an authentic Easter experience and thinking about which church to attend on Palm Sunday, Easter Saturday, or Easter Sunday, consider some of the most beautiful temples in the Old Town. The undisputable number one must be St. Mary's Basilica, adjacent to the Main Square. Alternatively, opt for a picture-perfect Wawel Cathedral, perched on Wawel Hill. Also, you can check out other popular places, such as Saints Peter and Paul Church or Holy Trinity Church.

Easter Monday: Emaus Fair in Salwator (April 1, 2024)

Festivities don't end on Easter Sunday. Emaus Fair follows on Easter Monday. The fair takes place at the Church of the Holy Saviour in Zwierzyniecthe Norbertine Monastery in Salwator. It's known as the "odpust" fair—a traditional indulgence fair that has accompanied church service since the 16th century. The name Emaus comes from the biblical village of Emmaus. In present days, the fair features stalls of gingerbread hearts and other goodies, folk toys and souvenirs, balloons, shooting galleries, carousels, rides, raffles, and all sorts of fun children particularly enjoy.

Easter Tuesday: Rękawka Festival on Krakus Mound (April 2, 2024)

On Tuesday after Easter Monday, locals gather on Krakus Mound for the Rękawka Festival. This place is known as Krakow's highest point, but also the city's oldest and most mysterious location. In the past, the mound was used for pagan rites for commuting with the dead forefathers. Modern-day festivities feature medieval reenactments, a festive fair, workshops on historical customs, and historical games for kids. The highlights of the day-long program are the lighting of the Holy Fire, a medieval warrior run, a medieval battle, and a medieval music concert.

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin