Our websites use cookies. Cookies allow us to understand how users use the websites and to modify them so that this use is made easier and more interesting. We also use cookies for advertising and statistical purposes. Cookies may also be used by our advertisers and research companies. You can change your cookies settings at any time. Using our websites without changing the cookies settings means that they will be placed on your terminal device. Detailed information on using cookies, including information on how to change cookies settings, is available in our Privacy Policy.
 
Gallery

Rękawka

Vote

Venue/Address:

Near church of St Benedict and Krakus Mound

Date:

the Tuesday that follows Easter

This name was given to the fair that takes place on the Tuesday that follows Easter on Lasoty Hill, not far away from Krakus Mound, and next to the Church of St Benedict. In pre-Christian times, the mound must have been a site in which Slavic rites were conducted to the forefathers, which celebrated the spring. Christianity adapted the ancient custom and – even though All Hallows’ Day was transferred to November – the organisation of the celebrations that revered the glorious dead continued in the folk tradition. Moreover, this location long continued to be the site of funerary rites, as folk wakes were recorded here as late as 1836.

Over time, these ceremonies evolved into a feast. On the Tuesday following Easter, the site turns into the venue of an open-air event known as the Rękawka. Even though linguists clearly connect the name to the Czech word rakew, meaning “a coffin”, and the Serbian raka, “a grave”, which would confirm that the mound was the place of the cult of the deceased forefathers or simply a grave, the people of Kraków prefer to believe the legend which says that the subjects of King Krakus brought the soil that was necessary to build his kurghan in their hands and in their sleeves (Polish: w rękawach) which became immortalised in this name.

The merriment was accompanied by the making of bonfires, fencing, competitions, and the poor were given alms in food and money. The custom continued even after the revelries were transferred from the foot of the Mound to that of the Church of St Benedict. The shift was enforced by the Austrians, who took over the area for military purposes and built a fort by the mound. Moreover, they also banned the throwing of food and money to the poor, arguing that such a practice affronts human dignity. All that remained was merriment: climbing the pole, the race in sacks, and – of course – the fair and its stalls.

The stalls and the fair are held by the church to this day. Moreover, the celebrations returned after many years also to the foot of the Krakus Mound. For the last few years, a mediaeval village was built there on the Tuesday following Easter, which allows us to become familiar with the lifestyle, costumes, crafts, and weapons of our Slavic forefathers.

Top 5

Most frequently visited

1

Historical Museum of the City of Kraków

The wartime history of the factory, its owner Oskar Schindler, and the Jewish prisoners of the Płaszów camp became known primarily thanks to Steven Spielberg... »

Highest rated

1

Kazimierz

The church is a foundation of King Casimir the Great. It is an excellent example of the Gothic sacred architecture that we owe to a bishop’s anathema... Even...  »

Planner

The Planner is a user-friendly and intuitive tool which will help you to plan your visit to Kraków, remember the most attractive tourist sites and events, and discover the magic of this city.

Go to the Planner’s page

Subscribe to the newsletter

Enter your e-mail address here to receive regular updates on the most interesting cultural events taking place in Kraków.

Only in Kraków

Kraków Travel - Second Life of a Book 2014

Second Life of a Book 2014

 

The book swap campaign, held for the third time this year, moves this year from the Wyspiański Pavilion to the Tourist Service Centre at the foot of Wawel Hill.... »

 

 

Select city:
Check in date:
No. nights:
No. rooms:
No. beds:
 
Kraków Travel Info Kraków Kraków Convention Bureau Magiczny kraków