Kraków’s cribs

Can you imagine Christmas without traditional Kraków’s cribs, called “krakowska szopka” (read: shopka)? Of course not! Christmas crib is not original Polish tradition for sure, but those ones have their specific features: the use of historical buildings of Cracow as a backdrop for the Nativity of Jesus. Church spiers are topped with an eagle (national emblem of Poland), or with flags in the national or city Cracow colors. What’s more: traditional biblical characters are accompanied by figures derived from Polish folk culture, legends, history, and even politics. The Kraków’s crib tradition dates back to the 19th century, when Cracow craftsmen begun to make them as a seasonal decoration for sell. Since 1937 the Kraków’s crib presentation and contest take place every year on the first Thursday of December, at the Main Market Square, next to the Adam Mickiewicz Monument. The best artwork is then displayed in the Historical Museum of Cracow, Main Square 35.

Photo: Kasia Olczak


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