I am fortunate to get to Europe often, and Autumn in Poland is my special favorite time. It is also a great time for tourism and visiting. The weather is pleasant and there are many harvest festivals. In the cities, the summer hotel pressure is finished and the crowds have diminished. In the resort areas from Sopot to Gdansk (Baltic sea-shore) people-traffic has diminished. In the interior and folk country (rural) there is a saying. It is now the “Golden Time”.
There is a short period of time every autumn in Poland called ‘Golden Polish Autumn’. According to custom the phrase comes from Wincenty Pol’s poem, “In the Autumn”.
Golden Polish Autumn, (Złota Polska Jesień) – that’s the phrase commonly used to describe this season. Summer is gone, the winter is approaching but the weather is great now and it is time to celebrate and enjoy the colors. The trees are golden and rusty.
In Krakow, the giant park Park Jordana, is a do not miss as the trees are changing at their peek. It should be on a ‘bucket list’.
In the sky, the giant star Arius is bright and directly overhead and for Poland, astronomical autumn is starting. The ‘Autumnal Equinox’ has commenced and the passage from Summer to Fall is beginning.
The farmers are starting the Dozynki. Harvest festivals that celebrate gratitude for nature’s bounty and winter preparations are all in full swing. The Polish harvest festivals are a custom of many centuries and little has changed. The traditions continue. The festivals celebrate the work of the farmer. Music, dancing, great food and colorful apparel, any Dozynki is worth attending. In America and Canada many social organizations and Polish churches have Dozynki Festivals.
This all means it is the first days of Autumn in the northern hemisphere. The sunlight and days are starting to get shorter.
Remember the Golden Polish Autumn is a period sometime between the end of September and the beginning of October, when fewer sunny days come after the initial drop of temperature. The Golden Autumn lasts in Poland usually less than two weeks.
Zakopane lies at the feet of the Tatra Mountains. This is a great destination. Also, southeast of Poland extending into Ukraine and Slovokia are the beautiful Bieszczady Mountains.
The Doznki Festivals in Poland are truly bardzo piękne (very beautiful). From Krakow to Tarnow to Rzeszow the drive is full of color at this time of year.
So, for preparation …….this year…….next year……anytime soon, the Golden Polish Autumn is a great time to plan a visit to Poland. If you can’t visit Poland at this time plan a Dozynki party for friends or the community. It is worth the effort and it will celebrate those who came before us. Bardzo Dobrze.
(Raymond Rolak is a Michigan based sports broadcaster)
photo by K. Teller