The Polish city of Krakow is getting ready to celebrate Midsummer Night in style in just over a month’s time. The ever-popular Wianki Festival will mark the occasion on 26 June this year as Cracovians acclaim the summer solstice with parties, special events, bonfires and the symbolic floating of wreaths or wianki or the Vistula River.
The festival traces its roots to a peaceful pagan ritual where maidens would float wreaths of herbs on the water to predict when they would be married, and to whom. By the 19th century the tradition had become a festive event and it continues to this day.
As well as the official floating of wreaths, there will be musical performances, dignitaries’ speeches, fairs and fireworks by the river bank opposite the imposing but beautiful Wawel Castle. Poland’s top pop stars will be joined by international acts including British band Kosheen to complete a day (and night) of celebrations.
To find out more about Krakow’s Wianki Festival and the importance of midsummer go to www.wianki.krakow.pl/en