For lovers of culture and entertainment
The Małopolska region is a region strongly diversified in terms of ethnography, where there always used to be groups of highlanders differing in dialect, customs, and above all in dress. Common elements of all men's highlander costumes were cloth trousers decorated with parzenica embroidery motifs and a white shirt called wałaska. It was worn with embroidered waistcoat and a cucha (a type of jacket with stitched sleeves, imposed on shoulders), while the head was covered with a black hat. The colour and shape of parzenica, the embroidery on waistcoat, the shape of hat and the length of cucha allow different groups of highlanders to distinguished themselves from one another.
The eastern part of the voivodship was inhabited until 1947 by the Lemkos, a group of Ruthenian highlanders, whose dress is most easily recognized by their brown cucha, knee-length and richly decorated with fringes. The women's outfit consisted of a thin white shirt, coloured at the collar and cuffs, a navy blue or black corset with embroidered flowers, and a calico skirt decorated with colourful ribbons sewn vertically.
The Lemkos tradition is not only costumes, but also culinary art. Rich in flavours, it emerged from overlapping peasant traditions of Ruthenians, Poles, Hungarians and Slovaks. Simple, vegetarian dishes were usually cooked, and meat was basically served only on special occasions. Culinary lovers will certainly not resist the local delicacies. You can choose for example proziaki or adymki - fritters usually served with butter or fuczki – fritters made of pancake dough eaten with sauerkraut. Dumplings stuffed with cottage cheese and potatoes or cabbage were once considered a festive dish. If you're a fan of sweets, we recommend a visit to the Ice Cream Factory of the Argasiński family in Nowy Sącz. It is run by already the third generation of icemakers and their home-made ice cream has been included in the Traditional Products List. Moreover, don't miss Kamianna – a place known for the production of honey and bee products, which houses the World Apitherapy Centre and the Beekeeping Museum.
Music has always been and still is an important part of the cultural tradition. There are many musical events in Beskid Sądecki and Low Beskids – from those more classic, through popular ones, to traditional reviews. Music Enchanted by Wood is a series of concerts on the Wooden Architecture Route. Every year, during 12 summer weeks, concerts with an exceptionally diverse programme take place in 4 churches inscribed on the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List and selected sites of the WAR.
The Pannonica Festival in Barcice is also a cultural showpiece of the Sądecki district. It takes place in the valley of Poprad, away from the agglomeration, and attracts the audience looking for unique impressions and emotions.
In the newly opened Mineral Water Pump Room in Krynica you can listen to wonderful concerts as part of the Krynica Źródłem Kultury series.
Amateurs of more traditional sounds can opt for the Jan Kiepura Festival in Krynica Zdrój, the Ada Sari International Festival and Vocal Art Competition in Stary Sącz, “Echo Trombity” Brass Band Festival in Nowy Sącz or the Early Music Festival in Stary Sącz.
You cannot miss the events that cultivate the traditions of the original inhabitants of the mountains.
The Lemko Culture Festival “Łemkowska Watra” in Zdynia is a moment of extremely important meetings for the Lemkos gathering multiple generations, families and friends. This was the initial idea of Władysław Graban and people associated with the Łemkowyna Representative Song and Dance Ensemble from Bielanka. The first “Watra” events were artistic workshops run by this group.
The International Festival of Children's Folk Ensembles “Festival of the Children of the Mountains” has been organized in Nowy Sącz since 1992 on the initiative of Antoni Malczak. This event is dedicated to children's folk ensembles from the mountainous regions of Poland and from abroad.
In addition to music, also international economic meetings are organised in the region, such as the annual Economic Forum in Krynica, as well as travel meetings, e.g. the Bonawentura Festival of Travel and Adventure in Stary Sącz.
If you're looking calm rest, try wandering around the Sensory Gardens in Muszyna or on the Path in the Tree Crowns and the Lookout Tower in Krynica Zdrój-Słotwiny.