Kulig – old Polish winter tradition

Kulig is an old Polish winter tradition dating back to the days of the gentry’s hegemony. Nowadays, the custom has been revived for special occasions, like New Year’s Eve, when it is celebrated again, albeit in a more modern version. We believe, however, that the fun and thrill of it have remained the same despite the passage of time. So join us and participate in this unique event, if only in our imagination.

One of the colorful customs of the Poles is a festivity called Kulig. To the Pole, life is divided into the calendar year according to the generous sprinkling of saints’ days, holy days, and church festivals. The gayest, and most enthusiastically participated in, is the carnival season which precedes Lent with its somber quiet days of meditation, prayers and self-denial. These are the days of penitence that lead up to the glorious festival of Easter. In the rural areas the carnival is punctuated with days of merrymaking, tricks, parades, music and folk dancing, but the most loved social event is the winter sleigh party or Kulig. The time for Kulig is anytime from Christmas to Ash Wednesday, depending mainly on the occasion when the snow is very deep. Kulig originated with the gentry, but has been practiced to different degrees, and with variations, by most of the population.