"Tis the season to be jolly?!"-
Christmas is one of the most attractive seasons in Zakopane. Lights are blinking on buildings and all the main streets. In the center of Krupówki ? Zakopane’s main promenade ? a great, tall Christmas Tree is the main attraction. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day there aren’t many tourists in town. The inhabitants of Zakopane greet each other with warm Polish cheer, saying Wesołych Świąt (Merry Christmas) instead of Dzień Dobry (Good Morning) or Cześć (Hello) [see more useful polish phrases].
Christmas Eve supper ? “Wigilia” ? is the most important meal of the year. In Poland, as well in Zakopane, people stay mostly at home with heir families but there are a few restaurants open where tourists can order special Christmas Eve meal. At the restaurant "Dwór Ślebody" before the Christmas Dinner is served all the guests are invite to decorate the Christmas Tree.
This special evening ends with attending “Pasterka” ? a midnight Mass in the Catholic Churches. The most joyful and warmest Mass takes place in the tiny church on Wiktorówki Glade in the Tatra National Park.
On the second day of Christmas many tourists come to Zakopane for New Year Holiday break. The downtown streets, restaurants and inns are full of laughter and good cheer and the mountain slopes are full of happy skiers.
The most popular activity during the last days of the Old Year is a “kulig” ? riding in a horse drawn sleigh ? especially in the Chochołowska and Kościeliska Valleys. Evening rides with torches and meals served around bonfires are also very popular.
New Year's Eve
The best evening of the season is, of course, New Years Eve called “Sylwester” ? as the last day of December is St. Silvester’s name’s day in the Catholic Church. Zakopane is well known for its partying throughout the year and New Years Eve is the BIGGEST night of all. Parties are thrown to suit a range of tastes and ages from children’s balls in the local hotels to romantic evenings with great food in some of the towns best restaurants through to big events in the towns best nightclubs. Wherever you are though everybody gathers in the towns streets and parks at midnight to watch Zakopane’s famous fireworks. The fantastic part of course is that you don’t have to sit around all day waiting for something to do ? you're in Poland's number one winter resort, you can spend a day on the ski slopes, go husky dog sledding, ski-dooing, enjoy a spa, shopping or whatever it is you fancy doing!
There are plenty of interesting and enjoyable options for spending the last night of the year:
- an elegant ball in one of the luxury hotels
- a traditional folk party with a local, highlanders band in a regional restaurant
- a large campfire in a forest glade in the company of local hosts dressed as “highland robbers”
- a sleigh ride with torches including a traditional dinner in a highlander hut
- a sleep over in the one of the eight mountain shelters in the Tatra National Park (reservation should be made in advance)
- an unforgettable night expedition on snowmobiles
Spend your New Years holiday this winter in Zakopane and enjoy an affordable holiday of great skiing, partying and fun!
See you in Zakopane! Come and join the party!