This midsummer festival is a national Polish tradition, connected with the annual summer solstice. This cultural event usually takes place on the banks of the Vistula river. Participants make wreaths with fragrant herbs and flowers.
The legend says if one puts a lit candle inside the wreath and lets it float down the river, one's dream may come true. This is a popular custom in Warsaw. Arriving in Krakow in the mid 19th century. Nowadays, it is a colourful show with fireworks and music.
Wianki originates from a pagan fertility festival honouring the Slavic goddess of love Kupala. During the night called Kupalnocka, people participated in wreath-floating and bonfire-jumping ceremonies which were supposed to ensure fertility. Every flower or herb in a wreath had its special meaning. However, when Poland became Christian the holiday was dedicated to St. John's Eve. Kupala's wreath floating ritual became associated with the baptism ceremony. Thus pagan Midsummer was incorporated into the Christian practice. But despite these efforts, some pagan customs survived.
We love the fact we are in 50 countries we get to be a part of capturing this kind of special event all across the world.
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