International Festival of Mountain Regions Folklore will take place from August 18th to 24th, 2023. This largest festival held in Zakopane is connected to folk culture, which is the strength and pillar of our region. Heritage, native culture, and mountain folklore have been attracting numerous guests eager for contact with tradition here for over fifty years.
In the second half of August, the tourist capital of Poland, thanks to the organizers of the event - the City of Zakopane and the Zakopane Center of Culture, will transform into a colorful capital of traditional folklore, filled with music, dance, and singing. It's impossible not to visit Zakopane during these days.
The International Festival of Mountain Regions Folklore is an initiative reaching back to the roots of folk culture and referring to the local traditions of mountain regions from various countries in Europe and the world. Over the past 50 years, nearly 700 foreign groups from dozens of countries and over 200 Polish groups have participated in this prestigious folk event. The participating ensembles present traditional folklore and forgotten rituals, providing a fascinating experience for crowds of tourists. This year's Festival program is filled with performances by regional groups from around the world and Poland, as well as numerous accompanying events and attractions.
Main theme of the festival The central theme of this year's edition will be pastoralism and musical traditions. This will allow us to explore the history of pastoralism in Europe - the history of the Carpathian Arch.
"Golden Ciupaga" Competition The main highlight of the festival is the competition where participants compete for the Golden, Silver, and Bronze Ciupaga awards in three categories: traditional, artistically developed, and stylized. During the competition, we will witness performances by groups presenting highland folklore from Romania, Macedonia, Slovakia, Hungary, Georgia, Turkey, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mexico, Croatia and Poland. The international jury, led by Dr. Bożena Lewandowska, will evaluate them. Representatives of all groups will also take part in the struggle for Sabałowe Gęśle and Zbyrcoki as part of the International Contest of Ensembles, Instrumentalists, and Folk Singers named after Władysław Trebuni-Tutka. During the "Little Highlanders" concert, we will also see children's ensembles - winners of the XIII Tatra Mountain Festival of Highland Groups "Golden Kierpce".
Anniversary Festival Concerts The festival will begin with a unique "On a Folk Note" Concert, featuring the Krywań ensemble celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. How to musically characterize the group? Their style is a specific synonym in highland music, adapted to the requirements of the commercial market, equivalent to good taste, arrangement, performance. It's recognizable sound and a unique style of music, a stage show that entices everyone to join in the fun. It promotes Polish rural culture, its beauty, vitality, and the simplicity of proud, strong people. "Krywań" entertains magnificently, while also teaching to appreciate "roots" and a sense of value.
On the second festival day, the Fanfare Ciocarlia ensemble will perform as part of another "On a Folk Note" concert. Zakopane is part of the world tour of the Romanian formation, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Traditionally, there will be a concert called "The Power of Roots", during which the Skalni Ensemble, celebrating its 70th anniversary, will perform. An additional attraction preceding the performance will be the first-ever organized Bacowski Osod rodeo during the festival.
Attractive festival program, full of accompanying events In addition to regional group performances from around the world and numerous concerts, this year's Festival program includes various events and accompanying attractions such as the Podhale Driving Championships, a parade through the streets of Zakopane, an exhibition of Podhale Sheepdogs, National Days, Folk Art and Craft Fair, Contest of Ensembles, Instrumentalists, and Folk Singers, workshops on folk art, and animations for the youngest attendees. The hosts of the Festival will be the Regional Ensemble named after Klimek Bachleda and the Parish Regional Ensemble "Giewont" from Olcza. The entire event takes place on Zakopane's main street, Krupówki, as well as in the festival village on the Dolna and Górna Równia Krupowa. The International Festival of Mountain Regions Folklore has been granted an honorary patronage by the President of the Republic of Poland, Mr. Andrzej Duda, and the First Lady, Mrs. Agata Kornhauser-Duda. The event is co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund – a state special-purpose fund. The Main Partner of the festival is the Małopolska Voivodeship. The event's Partner is also the National Institute of Heritage and Rural Culture.