Key events / St John Fair
St John Fair
St John Fair

St John Fair
St John Fair

Like in the past, wandering comedians come to Krakow, tumblers, troubadours, loiterers, merchants and stall-keepers from distant lands to take part in St John’s Fair organised within the domain of Wianki in Krakow. A journey to the medieval town, its customs, traditions, craft, dances and revelry await all those who come at the end of June to the Czerwieński Boulevard.

Merchants spread their goods at Wawel in wooden stalls or thick canvas tents. The guests are greeted by the city’s host with a pageant of pages and ladies, and nuns from Tyniec will arrive on raft boats with beer and honey.

For the duration of St John’s Fair (five-six days), the following await the guests: stalls with food (Slavic cuisine, beer and honey, herbs), jewellery and costumes from the past (purse making, working with amber, weaving, hems), weapons (arches, armourer), but also various types of devices for everyday use, toys and paper articles. Barber-surgeons will present medicaments (bugs, maggots, herbs!); they will talk about bleeding and tooth extraction by a blacksmith. The armourer will demonstrate how to hammer out armour, archers will teach how to hold an bow and arch, and everyone will be able to test their strengths in this uneasy art. One will also be able to learn to do pottery, felt wool, sew shoes, sand ambers, make candles from wax and spin rope. But that’s not all. The guest of the Fair will be able to gain the honourable title: lady of the manor, page, minister of the manor, and even a royal investigator.

Lovers of good cuisine shall also be satisfied. There are also freshly roasted meats and smoked sausages, as well as beer brewed on site. While inhaling the traditional specialities, you will be able to find out how beer was brewed in the old days, what Slavs cooked, what they learned from other peoples, and what overseas merchants brought.

We also invite the youngest. Not only will they listen to story-teller and fortune teller, but also help a pagan priest in preparing for rituals and see what the art of making vat paper and printing is. Aside from juggling and walking on stilts, Slavic dances and plaiting hems, as well as past fitness exercises (a race on three-person skis, pulling a ring, maintaining balance in catching a sandbag hung on a post), special educative paths have been prepared. For the youngest there will be court dancing workshops, plaiting garlands, courtly bowing, weaving, baking a flat cake, writing with a goose feather, decorating paper, stringing beads, embroidering and fencing, putting on armour and archery. There will also be a quick course for a royal esquire to participate in, where children will learn how to serve a royal table, what dishes were served and what products were ordered. Criminal riddles await for the brave. Children taking part in the investigation as royal investigators, will help hunt a plunderer, who is marauding at the fair.

Those wishing to relax will be able to go to the tavern, where they can rest from the turmoil of the day to sounds of music. Battles will be staged here between the warriors arrived at the fair and a traditional court – a Slavic rally. In the evening everyone will gather together to celebrate Kupała’s night in the light of the fires. Join us!

Organizer: Krakowskie Biuro Festiwalowe

St John’s Fair - 2017 St John’s Fair - 2016 St John’s Fair - 2015

St John’s Fair - 2014 St John’s Fair - 2013 St John’s Fair - 2012

St John’s Fair - 2011 St John’s Fair - 2010
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