All Around Nativity Scenes

Walking and visiting

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  • Thursday, December 3, 2020 - Tuesday, February 2, 2021

In these difficult times, we are soothed by familiar elements of our surroundings – and Cracovian Nativity Scenes offer a glimmer of hope.

We are especially delighted to present the sixth Cracovian campaign All Around Nativity Scenes. This year, we explore the tradition through Cracovian poets: from the author of The Wedding, via creators of famous cabarets of the 20th century, local bards and Nobel laureates, to the enfant terrible of Polish poetry Marcin Świetlicki… In spite of all the concerns and restrictions brought by the pandemic, the organisers have been inspired by the imagination of Cracovian nativity scene-makers and authors to prepare the “Miracle Fair”.

Since 2015, thanks to the Museum of Kraków and KBF, selected nativity scenes have been presented in the city space, bringing a sparkle to its beautiful festive atmosphere. Once again, the intricate models of Kraków and the Bethlehem manger, featuring episodes from Poland’s history and Cracovian legends, go on display in windows of shops, hotels and restaurants in the city and display cases in squares of the Old City and the Planty Garden Ring, shining a ray of joy and hope.

“You are placed / not in a manger / but in a gold palace”, wrote the poet and nativity scene-maker Jan Kirsz. The constructions intertwine many different worlds: city architecture and its heroes and symbols, the mystery of the nativity, joy, family love… Anything is possible – as Wisława Szymborska wrote in her Miracle Fair, “A miracle, just take a look around: / the inescapable earth. / An extra miracle, extra and ordinary: / the unthinkable can be thought.”

Grzegorz Turnau sang, “Quietly / very quietly / they’re walking towards the city to scout / walking and looking”… (lyrics by Michał Zabłocki) We have no idea how empty and quiet Kraków will be this winter, but let’s go on a magical, poetic walk – online and out in the city streets – to find Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński’s enchanted carriage or Marcin Świetlicki’s yellow dog, illuminated by the light of the moon with the legendary sorcerer Pan Twardowski gazing down upon the city… (Dorota Dziunikowska, “Karnet” monthly)

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