Colorful processions in folk costumes: Corpus Christi (Boże Ciało) in Poland

The religious festivity of Corpus Christi (in Polish: Boże Ciało) remains one of the most important events in the Polish rural culture when processions of people dressed in traditional regional clothing appear on the streets. As a supplement to my previous post describing old Slavic folk rites and beliefs that were syncretized with these holidays in Poland (you can read it here), I want to show you photos from various places in Poland where the tradition of putting on folk costumes for the Corpus Christi procession is still alive.

(picture-heavy post after the cut)


Łowicz

First to show is probably the most famous procession in Łowicz, small town in central Poland and a regional cultural centre known for the colorful folk costumes with characteristic wide stripes and floral embroidery.

Below several photos taken by Maciej Rybus:

Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland


SILESIA

Region of Silesia in south-western Poland was also known for the tradition of organizing colorful processions from churches. Now it’s only a few towns where the custom is still practiced. Below you can see photos from the small town of Lipiny, where people in costumes from various areas of Silesia appeared for the event this year. The differences in clothing are sometimes small, but they designate various different Silesian towns or regions. All photos from Lipiny were taken by Bożena Pactwa.

Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland

Corpus Christi procession in Poland


BISKUPIZNA

Here are a few pictures from Domachowo, small town in west-central Poland (region of Wielkopolska – Greater Poland). The costumes shown here belong to the subregion of Biskupizna, and are known for the characteristic headwear that includes layers of intricate stiffened lace.

Few photos taken by Wojciech Wójcik:

Corpus Christi procession in Poland

Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland


PODHALE

Another region known for cultivating the tradition is Podhale, mountainous region in southern Poland. Costumes from Podhale are usually known in English by the word Górale that means ‘highlanders’.

Photos below were taken in village of Chochołów by Piotr Baczyk:

Corpus Christi procession in PolandCorpus Christi procession in Poland
Corpus Christi procession in Poland
Corpus Christi procession in Poland
Corpus Christi procession in Poland
Corpus Christi procession in Poland And below are few photos from village of Kościelisko, also in the region of Podhale. Photos were taken by Adrian Gładecki:

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And a few more photos from village of Brzegi in the same region, via 24tp.pl:

Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland


SIERADZ

Now coming back a bit to the north – to the town of Sieradz in central Poland, west from the city of Łódź. Costumes from Sieradz have characteristic floral embroidery and striped woven textiles in reddish-orange colour. Note the regional floral embroidery that appears also on religious banners.

Photos below were taken by Dariusz Piekarczyk:

Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland

Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland

And a few more photos from Sieradz posted by a local school, where you can see the floral embroidery on shirts and aprons a bit better:

Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland


KURPIE BIAŁE

Below are processions in Pniewo, that is located in the region of Kurpie Białe, north-eastern Poland. The region is famous for its green textiles, and interesting red embroidery that appears mostly on shirts and blouses, full of archaic sun symbolism.

Photos via pultusk24.home.pl:

Corpus Christi procession in PolandCorpus Christi procession in PolandCorpus Christi procession in PolandCorpus Christi procession in PolandCorpus Christi procession in Poland
Corpus Christi procession in Poland

Another picture from Pniewo with a better look at the religious banner where the local embroidery also appears, photo by Marek Filipowicz:

Corpus Christi procession in Poland


KURPIE ZIELONE

Now a town of Myszyniec in a neighbouring region of Kurpie Zielone, also in north-eastern Poland. Young women from this region use very characteristic high black headwear adorned with ribbons and often flowers.

Photos via nowaostroleka.pl:

Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland

Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland

More pictures from Myszyniec, by Edyta Bryk:

Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland


KASZUBY

The region of Kaszuby (Kashubia) is located northern Poland. Costumes of the Kashubians are adorned with characteristic embroidery on shirts, blouses, aprons and bodices.

Here are a few photos from the town of Kartuzy in the region, taken by Joanna Siegel:

Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland

A few more photos from Kartuzy by Magdalena Dzienisz:

Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland


JURGÓW

Village of Jurgów is located in the region of Spisz in southern Poland. It’s one of Poland’s regions inhabitated by highlanders who share similar elements and materials of clothing.

Photos below via jurgow.pl:

Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland Corpus Christi procession in Poland


Hope you liked the costumes. More regions might appear here later, as soon as I find good resources :)

If you’re interested in exploring and learning more about different regional folk clothing from Poland, you can check my gallery of Polish folk costumes. I prepared there a long list of various types of Polish clothing (from different regions, towns, cities, and of various ethnic groups) – you can check it here: link.

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