CROPS FETE 2016
Folk Harvest Festival „Crops fete” since many years is all about rituals of thanksgiving for the end of the harvest and field work. Main growth of this custom has happened in XVI century, when Harvest Festival has been born on the courts. Of course, this celebration has its origin even earlier, when peasents used it as the cult of plants and trees.
Despite the fact that Harvest Festival has changes its form, this is still a holiday for farmers, held at the turn of August and September in many Polish villages.
In 2016 Folk Group “Wielkopolanie” participated in five “Crops Fetes” held in Wielkopolska. Precisely in Mieszków, Kazimierz Biskupi, Heliodorowo, Nochowo and Mieścisko. Every time, at churches of those villages was held a traditional blessing of festival wreaths and ritual breads baked from this year’s grain.
Wreaths, traditionally carried after the harvest to the host, contained not only crops but also wild flowers, ribbons, and sometimes vegetables and fruits. Together with bread, it became the symbol of this year’s harvest and were used by “Wielkopolanie” during performance.
„Plon niesiemy, plon…” was sung by the dancers dressed in traditional costumes from regions of Krobia and Domochowo, Szamotuły, Dąbrówka Wielkopolska and from old villages of the city of Poznań. More than 30 performers showed the traditions and customs of the summer-autumn from Wielkopolska to the large audience. At the stage, together with “Wielkopolanie” all the foremen had a Chance to dance. Later, accordind to the tradition, they passed this year’s loaf of bread to mayors and governors, who went between gathered people to share received bread with them (this custom was born in the 80’s).
After solemn ceremonies, “Wielkopolanie”, during a hour-long performance, presented dances and songs from Beskid Śląski, Rzeszów and Przeworsk, Cracow and also national dances such as Kujawiak Oberek and Krakowiak.
Crops Fete celebrated not only in Poland but also in other Europe countries permanently etched into the calendar of summer-autumn festivals. This is the biggest and the most important holiday in a year devoted to the harvest, which is the culmination of year-long work of farmers.