Friday, 13 June 2014

Bookish Warsaw

May started the season for book-related events in Warsaw. Or so it seems. A few events that got my attention.

It started with Noc Muzeów or The Long Night of Museums, on the 17/18 May. A translation of Polish and Icelandic poems, the night in the public library, and many other events related to book on this night.

The next event was Warsaw Book Fair, 22-25 May, on the National Stadium in Warsaw. What captured my heart this year was the comic section, as you can read in the linked post. 

June is the time of the Pride Parade in Warsaw (called in Polish Parada Równości which means 'Equality Parade'). Since 30th May Equality Festival has started, a time for many LGBT-related events. It shouldn't be surprising there is also a small fair of LBGT-related books (9-15 June) In one of the caffe&bookstore place called MiTo. Nothing big, but still nice possibility to get some books in Polish and English for lower prices. The Parade itself is on 14th June.

Big Book Festival is a two days (14-15 June) festival in various places of Warsaw, and even beyond - in Podkowa Leśna, where is a museum of this year's big star writer - Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz. Many of its events are held in both Polish and English, which isn't common in Poland.

Have fun, I will on the Big Book festival where I volunteer.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Children's Day in Wola

First June is Children's Day in Poland. Many events are held for children in various points of town. All the more, when 1st June is a free day, like Sunday this year.

This year's theme was "Piknik Królewska Wola" (Picnic: The King's Wola [Will]). As I wrote earlier, Wola in Polish means "will".

Below there is a video from the workshops of traditional (court) Polish dance called polonez.


And some photos of other attractions. There were also: painting faces, painting workshops, theatre, songs, reading, decoupage among other activities.


On second photo there is a merry-go-round (karuzela in Polish). People from Warsaw usually connect it with a song "Karuzela" which lyrics include "Karuzela, karuzela, na Bielanach co niedziela". Meaning: Carousel, carousel, in Bielany every Sunday. Bielany is one of the districts of Warsaw, like Wola. The video to this song is from a film.


There were also snacks, of course. As usual there were stands with: popcorn, cotton candy, candies, wafers, ice cream and pańska skórka (a kind of candy from Warsaw region). If you were hungry, you could get grilled sausage. Unfortunately, nothing unusual. Kinda sad there wasn't even one stand with healthy food for children, tho. Especially that the event was organised by the Wola's Hall.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Over a Month of Events

Past few weeks were full of events. I mean the weeks from around the Easter until The Long Night of Museums. So from 13th April 2014 to 18 May 2014.

The events mentioned in the post:

  • Easter; 
  • Beatification of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, 
  • Majówka
  • Eurovision, 
  • The Long Night of Museums (Noc Muzeów). 


Easter in Warsaw



The Palm Sunday 

© Alina Zienowicz (from: Wikipedia)
The Palm Sunday was on 13th April 2014. Nothing special in Warsaw, where you just go to the church with (usually) a palm bought on the street, or just in front of the gate to the church. Those palms are often made from dry grasses and flowers. Just like the ones in the photo.

This day is specially celebrated in Łyse, a village in Kurpie region (part of Mazovia) where there are contests for the most beautiful palm.



Holy Saturday

© Błażej Benisz (from: Wikipedia)
On Holy Saturday people in Warsaw go to churches to bless święconka (Easter basket). The food inside is symbolic, and serves as a food to eat for Holy Sunday's breakfast. There is a superstition that what was blessed shouldn't be eaten after sunset.

Święconka is blessed during special short "mass" (it's over in around 10 minutes) and you can do it for most of the day, from morning to evening. In the countryside a priest may visit a village and bless święconka that was gathered for example in the village's mayor house.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Vistula and Floods 2014

With spring and heavy rains a flood often comes. Floods this year are serious in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Those countries received international help to fight with the results of the floods, including Polish firemen. My condolences to people who lost their relatives and friends to the flood.

We got some flooding in Poland too, but it's not something really big. Sure, there were houses, roads, bridges destroyed, etc. but we got worse situations in the past. Of course it won't console the people who lost their homes, and I feel sorry for that, but... at least they didn't lose lives. I heard that a person died in Poland when he tried to cross the flooded street. Media rather reports about death by flood in the Balkans. 

The level of Vistula river in Warsaw got over the alarm level (to 7m high) but there was no flood in Warsaw. The maximum level of the water was yesterday morning and the situation is under control. The flood wave left Warsaw and goes to Płock now. Warsaw is still on the anti-flood alarm, just in case; Płock is already on the alarm. It is said that the flood wave should reach Baltic sea on Sunday or Monday. 

This photo was taken some hours after the culmination wave came to Warsaw. It's taken from afar (the Old Town), but I didn't want to endanger my health or life by coming near the river to take a photo. There was official ban on it also. I heard some days ago somebody fell into the river but he was rescued, luckily.

The water is really dirty and the level is high, but you can see cars riding close to the river bank. 



If you want more photos, from closer distance, you can see them in the article about Vistula river stabilisation in Warsaw. You can also read about the flood wave in Warsaw in English news. 

Btw, Vistula river is nowhere near my house. I'm not ever gonna get flooded living here in Wola;) 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

It's spring time!

Do you remember my post about the street band in Wola? It was taken on 23rd March and just few days later the spring bloomed. As you can see in the photo below, made quite late, on 7th April.


Continue reading to see some spring photos made in Praga district, near Vistula river on Saturday, 5th April. Spring came really early this year, the weather was warm and sunny so a lot of people went outside to enjoy the fresh air. As usual I tried not to take the people's photos, and concentrate on the nature tho.


Sunday, 23 March 2014

Street Bands in Warsaw

Warsaw Street Bands

There are some things I enjoy about the urban folklore in Warsaw. It's - obviously - the street musicians and bands.

Musicians playing and singing on the streets of Warsaw were especially popular before the Second World War. But even today there are bands that still play in places with lots of passer-bys (tourists including). What's more some bands playing their music going through the backyards, among the apartment buildings.

Today, on 23rd of March 2014, one of such bands was in my neighbourhood. I think it was first time in few months. Not surprising, considering that there is too little street bands in too big city to hear them often. Unfortunately.

Continue reading to see the videos of the street band performance. You will also learn more about street bands in Warsaw and its significance.


Thursday, 23 January 2014

Winter photos of Wola

A couple of photos taken in Wola, a district of Warsaw, on 18th January. Winter came back to Warsaw few days before that. It's cold now, around -10, but even after the snow fell we had a warmer day, with temperature above 0 degrees.

Below are the photos from Park Moczydło, one of the parks in Wola. Taken with my mobile phone's camera a bit of time before the sunset.





At least children are having fun, right? ;) That was a nice walk! The most important thing is to dress warmly, then you can have fun. :)