As every year in the main market square of Krakow the Easter market leaves its mark. The stalls sell all sorts of wood and ceramic handcrafts and decorations tied in with the Easter tradition.
The Sunday before Easter is known as Palm Sunday and marks the beginning of our Easter market which too is decorated with giant palm beams. you will also see Krakovians carrying dried flowers and branches on their way to Sunday mass 2-3 meters tall.
The following Friday is Good Friday. In remembrance of Jesus being crucified; it marks the end of the forty day lent which culminates with the fourteen stations of the cross.
Saturday morning begins with the preparation of Easter baskets filled with Easter goods: eggs, sausages, horse radish and other breakfast goodies. According to legend Mari Magdalen purchased eggs for the apostles on the way to Jesus’ crucifixion. After the resurrection of Christ those eggs turned red. That is why to this day we paint our eggs. These baskets are carried to the local church in order to be blessed before consumption.
Monday is ‘szmingus dingus.’ On this day we have a giant water fight. Traditionally this was as a sign of renewal for spring. As the years went on it became common for girls to spray water on the boys they were interested in. The blony meadows in Krakow has become the site of a major water balloon fight to this day.
Tuesday after Easter in Krakow is ‘Sleeve day.’ The name comes from the legend that the people of Krakow were so grateful to their king Krak that they build a mound of dirt in his honor. The dirt used to create this hill was carried by the people of Krakow in their sleeves. Today this day is celebrated with a fair not on the Krak mound but next to it near the XI century church of Saint Benedict which opens its doors on this day once a year. This tradition came about from the Austrian occupation of Krakow when a fortress surrounded the mound and the celebration was forbidden to take place there.
As every year this is a magic time to be in Krakow to enjoy all the many fairs taking place.