GODNIE ŚWIĘTA W REGIONIE ŻYWIECKIM
HOLIDAYS WITH PRIDE IN THE ŻYWIEC REGION
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Żywiec is one of the ethnographic areas in Poland where many elements of old folk culture have survived to the present day. It is known for its interesting folklore, folk art and rituals. It is a conservative region, but at the same time a creative one, which develops its culture on the basis of tradition. This phenomenon is wonderfully illustrated by the traditions that appear here during the Christmas and New Year season. Some of them have been preserved in a nearly unchanged form, such as in exchanging Christmas wishes, a green tree, and the scheme of Christmas Eve supper, traditional Christmas eve foods, and visiting others during the Christmas season. Some died out, not having any application anymore to real contemporary life in the village of Żywiec, like rituals associated with agriculture or animal husbandry which were meant to ensure harvest, bounty and fertility. Others survive in the form of entertainment or games, like some of the caroling traditions, where a feeling of unity and meeting with groups of friends and loved ones is more important than the traditional overtones of caroling as a magical charm for success. An example of these types of customs are New Year’s Paupers or Nobles, those which are typical of Żywiec and which distinguish them from others while also allowing one to identify with local society. Residents of the Żywiec area, while cultivating tradition, are also open to “the new”. That is why the local folk culture hasn’t stayed in an old or reconstructed form. It is dynamic and developing.
- mgr, absolwent Katedry Etnografii Słowian Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego w Krakowie oraz Podyplomowego Studium Muzealniczego na Uniwersytecie Warszawskim. Od 25 lat pracuje w Muzeum Miejskim w Żywcu.
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