text and photographs: Grzegorz Bukalski,
Student at the Faculty of Architecture, Cracow University of Technology,
// „… if they did not come, it’s as if the year has not started …”
For many years, the inhabitants of Żywiec and neighboring villages have been celebrating the new year in a slightly different way than the rest of the world. At the turn of December and January, a crowd of colorful characters is rolling through the Żywiec region accompanied by lively music. In exchange for small gifts, they visit houses they encounter with a carol and a good word. From the colorful chaos of human silhouettes, individual heroes can be distinguished: devils, death, Jewish traders, gypsies, chimney sweeps, priests, young couples, nurses, macidettes in jagged costumes, and other figures from the world of folk legends and traditions. Each of them plays a specific role, which is associated with characteristic behaviors and props.