Sunday, January 6, 2013

Epiphany in Poland

Along with many other countries around the world, Poland now participates in the "Procession of the Three Kings". Last year was the first year Poland enacted a law that allows for this day to be a day off from work so people can celebrate with their family. All the malls and shops were closed, and many people celebrated in much the same way we did... joining in with the celebration!

In Krakow the Three Kings begin the procession in three different areas of the Old Town and move towards the center followed by the townspeople (that would be us). Due to our parking location we had the honor of beginning at the top of Wawel Hill and processing in along the "Royal Way". We prayed, sang Koledy (Christmas Carols) and were given copious amounts of paper crowns, stickers, and song books. Along the way there were also people accepting donations for several different charities and in exchange handing out pieces of blessed chalk and incense for blessing your home for the coming year.  The procession is concluded at the center of the Old Town where a living nativity scene is waiting and the Three Kings present their gifts to the baby Jesus. There is more singing and then a blessing and prayer from the Archbishop of Krakow (Cardinal Dziwisz).

Waiting for the procession to start at the castle.

Processing down the royal way. Bringing up the rear, as usual.


Some video for perspective (and singing)...


This is as close as we got. It was packed.

Close up. 
Towards the end we were all hungry, cold, and tired from walking, it was beginning to snow fairly hard (the first of the Christmas Season!), and so we got a bit of food and came home for hot chocolate. While Martin and I were preparing the hot chocolate, an impromptu nativity scene was being set up in our own living room by our own three little wise people (we don't discriminate) unbeknownst to us. And here is what we found...

More precious than gold to King Felix, he offers the baby Jesus...candy.

It's days like today which remind me of one of the most important reasons why I, personally - without any Polish blood running through my veins - wanted to move to Poland. The traditions, the culture, the shared faith. It's not a perfect country, but it has such a richness, a fullness, about it. I want to give this to my children.

I am glad we are here. I am thankful. I am hopeful.

And now Martin is making some homemade mulled wine, which I detest. He insists we drink it to celebrate Twelfth Night and the first and only snowy day we have seen this Christmas Season.

P.S. Martin says this picture is "magical" but he just finished his own, as well as my, mulled wine, soooo.....

Outside our bedroom window right now.


  1. I used the word "celebrate" far too many times in the first paragraph and Martin says I picked the "least magical picture I could have chosen out of all the ones he took".

    1. And the word "procession". I don't own a Thesaurus. Plus, whenever people use Thesauri they always end up using words to replace words that no one has ever heard of.
      And that's dumb.

  2. I think Teresa uses a Thesaurus a lot :). I love this tradition! This IS why you decided to move there. What a wonderful place. How often does Martin use the word magical?

    1. Yeah, I use a thesaurus sometimes. Problem?! I think not. Photos of freshly fallen snow in eerie light are definitely magical. I'd go so far as to say ethereal.

  3. Mulled wine will definitely bring out the magic in backyard photos.

  4. For the record, I said "straight up magical" - that's not the same as just "magical."

    1. Did you burp right after you said "straight up magical"? 'Cause that's how it goes in my mind...

    2. No, I gave Olivia a high-five after she agreed with me. She was all like, "no doubt, yo" and I was all like "word, calm down."

  5. Is Martin and Marcin the same person? Haha! You guys crack me up. Olivia, maybe you should get drunk on mulled wine more often, it could calm you some.

  6. Thanks for this mind trip to Kraków. I totally understand why you would like to live there.