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Orava and Żywiec Beskids

Dzika Chata Zawoja gulasz z dzika
The inhabitants of the area around Babia Góra and Orava eagerly cultivate local traditions on the occasion of family, church and state celebrations.

During the Christmas season it is worth going to the “Orava Carolling” to the Cultural Centre in Jabłonka or to the Orava Ethnographic Park in Zubrzyca. If you like to watch nativity play, don't miss the moment when traditional puppet cribs are presented. In the local cribs, in the scene of the birth of Jesus, we will see not only Mary and Joseph, but also figures of a nobleman, Highlanders, tinker Jews, an old man, merchants, and even of Striga, Death and Devil! This rare custom can be admired, among others in Lipnica Górna.

During Easter, the tastiest dish on the Orava tables is krzonówka – a dense soup with horseradish and visible pieces of sausage, ham and eggs, not only very nutritious and tasty but also inscribed on the list of regional products.

Admirers of pastoralism will certainly be interested in the traditional redyk (sheep trailing), which nowadays has the character of a folklore show. In the spring, on the day of St Adalbert (23 April) shepherds go out with flocks of sheep to the mountain pastures, where sheep will graze until the day of St Michael the Archangel (29 September), protector of shepherds. The festivities are accompanied by highlander dances and songs as well as magical rites, among which one can distinguish burning bonfires (watras) in a shepherd's hut or “making noise”. One of the largest and most colourful events related to the redyk is the Babia Góra Autumn, which takes place every year in the last days of September in Zawoja.

On the last Sunday of July, the Blueberry Festival takes place in Zubrzyca Górna. This is not only a fun for the palate, but also an opportunity to learn about old crafts, regional products of Polish and Slovak Orava, as well as about dance and music of the region.


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