Harvest Celebration - Dozynki

As a country with many agricultural traditions, Poland still continues to celebrate harvest festivals each year from mid-August through mid-September.

In the past, the harvest festival was sponsored by the lord of the manor for the people who worked his fields and harvested his crops. Villagers would dress in colorful folk costumes singing and playing instruments for the lord and lady of the manor. In celebration of the completed harvest, they carried wreaths made of corn, wheat and a variety of flowers as an offering to the owner of the estate. A loaf of bread, baked from the fresh grain, was also presented to the lord and lady of the manor, who, in turn, gave a slice to the guests who had worked hard to make the harvest possible. The people then danced and sang songs in praise of the master and the harvest.

In Poland today, the residents in farming regions have altered the ceremony to include everyone living in the entire countryside. The role of the master of the manor has now been assigned to elected officials and area representatives. However, the participants continue to dress in traditional costumes and carry beautifully-made harvest wreaths in an attempt to surpass each other in originality and beauty.

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