Dożynki (harvest celebration) is considered to be one of Poland’s most revered traditions. For 1,000 years in Poland, the tenant farmers presented the lord and the lady of the manor with gifts and garlands of wheat and wild flowers as part of a joyous fall celebration of the harvest. Throughout Poland’s history much importance was placed on the harvest because it represents the fruits of the farmers’ labors, as well as their ability to sustain themselves throughout the winter months. In gratitude, the “starosta” or lord of the Manor shares food, drink and music with his tenants. A procession of farmers with their implements, presenters and dancers in regional costumes accompanied by musicians will initiate the festival.
The festival consists of two parts: processional songs honoring the harvest, which are solemn in nature and reaffirm the reverence of the tradition; and the general celebration during which the celebrants return dressed in holiday finery to sing, dance, feast and play games. Dożynki reminds us today of our inherent connection to the land and to nature itself. Without the land, both in the past and present, there is no bread or life and indeed, no cause for celebration. Dożynki celebrations vary from region to region throughout both Poland and Polonia.
Corpus Christi Parish Dożynki in Buffalo, N.Y.
6th Annual Dożynki
Polish Harvest Festival
Holy Mother of the Rosary Cathedral Parish Grounds
Polonia Park, located in Niagara-on-the-Lake Ontario, was purchased in 1969 by the Presiden of the Canadian Polish Society, Mr. Walter Blaszynski, who supervised the clearing of the land by volunteers of the Canadian Polish Society. In 1985 the pavilion was constructed under the supervision of the President, Mr. Joseph Miarecki. The construction was also done by volunteers of the Canadian Polish Society with the dreams that their families will have use of the facilities to carry on the Polish culture and traditions in the Niagara region. The architect was Stanley Szaflarski.
7th Annual Dożynki Polish Harvest Festival !!!
Sunday, September 25th, 2011
-10AM to 9PM-
Free Admission !! Fun For All !!
Holy Mother of the Rosary Cathedral Parish Grounds
6298 Broadway, Lancaster, NY 14086
(Between Schwartz & Ransom Roads)
10 AM - Dozynki Mass
11:30 AM - Dozynki Ceremony
12 Noon- till 6 PM - POLISH Dinner
(Also available : CZARNINA & ROSEL)
1 PM Music & Puppets By Alix
2 PM Polish Heritage Dancers of WNY
3:30 PM Chopin Singing Society
4 PM OGORKI (Dill Pickle) Judging Contest
4:30 PM to 8:30 PM - BedRock Boys (Polka Music)
Homemade Polish Food (American food also available)
Polka Music .... Polish Folk Dancers ... Polish Beer....Children's Activities
Polish Deserts ... Cultural & Craft Demonstrations
LEFT: This video shows how the harvest festival is celebrated in the town of Zator (Poland) and its surrounding villages. Basically several villages participate in the event and each has their turn as host. This year, it was the village of Podolsze that had the honors.
BELOW: Two old photos from the Podolsze volunteer fire department's scrapbook showing how Dożynki was celebrated sometime shortly after World War ll. (Click on the thumbnails to enlarge.)
Winners of the Fifth Annual (2012)
Buffalo's Best Pierogi Contest:
1st - K-Sisters (Farmers Cheese/Onion)
2nd - Homestyle Catering (Farmers Cheese)
3rd - Potts Deli & Grille (Potato)
Non Traditional Category
1st - Bobby Sikorski (Polish Reuben)
2nd - Brian Marek (Beef on Weck)
3rd - Sharon Dombek (Mango Tango)
1st - Diane Gorczynksi (Farmers Cheese)
2nd - Kristen Sikora (Sauerkraut)
3rd - Patti Franklin (Sauerkraut)
28 sierpień – Dożynki Parafialne
w Polonia Park
St. Catharines, Ontario
12:00 Pochod dozynkowy
12:30 Msza św.
15:00 Program artystyczny
16:00 Zabawy dla dzieci i loteria fantowa
August 28 – Harvest Thanksgiving Celebration in Polonia Park
For harvest was now in full swing: day succeeded day, full of the hardest toil, most joyfully supported.
And at last, the weather continuing magnificent, they bound the cut corn into sheaves, setting them up on the fields by clusters of eight, to be brought home to Lipka at their convenience. Now did the ponderous wagons roll along, on every field through every lane, to every barn in the village. The gathered billows of golden corn flowed out along the ways and in the yards and on to the threshing-floors; a few stalks even floated in the pond, or dangled aloft from the roadside trees, with their yellow bearded stalks; and all the country-side was redolent of the reaped straw and the fresh ripe grain.
On not a few threshing-floors the flails were beating already, for the people were in a hurry to get their corn made into bread. Without, on the vast expanse of stubble, multitudes of geese were gleaning the remaining ears, and flocks of sheep and herds of oxen grazed there too. There, too, sore fires had been kindled; and all day long the lasses sang and made a joyful noise, that mingled with calls and rumbling of carts, and made the merry sunburnt faces of the villagers shine still brighter.
The rye was not yet all cut down, before the oats on the uplands were more than ready for the sickle, and you could almost see how quick the barley ripened, and the wheat daily grew of an ever rustier gold. There was no time to rest, not even to eat at one's leisure; they were all so tired, so worn out, that many would fall asleep over their meals; and yet, when they came home in the evening, Lipka thrilled to the merry din of talk and laughter, of music and songs.
Yes, the hard times that came before the harvest were over and gone; the barns were full, there was corn in abundance, and everyone, poor as he might be, held up his head proudly, and looked forward in confidence to the future and the happy times he had so long desired.
- pp.284-285, Vol 4 (Autumn), Reymont's "The Peasants" (Chłopi)