tomorrow some of you will want to celebrate the holy day of Corpus
Cristi (Boże Ciało). I'm an atheist but I am also cultural
anthropologist working in urban anthropology topics (being an architect
as well:). I have also many catholic friends and this doesn't disturb us
to like each other a lot and to communicate properly (I hope:).
Therefore I'm totally amazed by such phenomenon as I'm amazed with
similar views in Spain for instance.
Based on this example I would like my town to respect all traditions of all religions and also make touristic events out of it - with full respect. The Corpus Cristi holy day is one of such ocassions. I would like my town to get rid of cathegoric oposition between religion and non-religion. I wouldn't like my town to organize football event on the holy day of catholics (it happened so last year, June 7) because this gives them tough choice to make and puts the Church in weak position against football feast. I have a lot of respect for Christian traditions in urban and non-urban public spaces even though they appropriate the space very often but others do it as well. These traditions are as important as Harley-Davidson's Super Rally 2013 and many others. Religious events are part of each cultural streetscape. So if you want to read more about it, if you want to walk together with any procession in Wrocław, please follow the text below.
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Thursday, May 30, tomorrow - real ocassion for tourists and expats in Wrocław: to experience sacrum traditions in public spaces of the town. For the catholics in Poland it will be the holy day of Boże Ciało [boshe tshauo] / Corpus Cristi / The Body of Christ. For non-catholics and atheists - interesting experience with flowers, sounds and smells. You can observe, you can enjoy, you don't need to believe or experience it spiritually. Whatever you say, it is amazing and beautiful view in public spaces, the same as similar processions in Valencia, Spain or any other town and country.
You can see some photos here.
If you want to celebrate procession tomorrow, search for the schedule in local press. The biggest procession will start at appx 10 am (tha Mass: 9 am) at the main Cathedral (Ostrów Tumski). Once the procession will walk by, take four twigs from the altars and put them in four corners of your house or flat. This will protect your place - this is what people still do and believe therefore they take green twigs from altars and keep them at home. Beautiful procession will start in Nadodrze district (photo) - lots of flower petals and beautiful inscents... Amazing experience!
Unfortunately many procession take place at the same time, we would like to follow them all but we can't, we do not have so many volunteers:) Besides we would really like to experience them all, all these amazing scents and views... Therefore we must choose the procession only in the places that we are observing also for the rest of the year:)
-9am - the Mass in Cathedral and the biggest and most important procession in Wrocław (start appx 10am)
-4pm - the Mass in St Boniface (Staszica Sq) with pretty long procession in Nadodrze dstrict (starting appx 5pm)
-4pm - the Mass in Jezuit Church / university church (University St) and the procession after that appx 5.15 near Hala Targowa and further - interesting area
-8pm - the Mass in St Adalbert of Prague (Św. Wojciech, Dominikański Sq) and after that the greatest evening procession organized by students starting appx 9.15 - with bells, drums and songs, very beautiful and sometimes loud, sometimes totally quiet. Another great experience.
It's good to wait till procession will pass by. After that the mood of the organizers is way lighter and there are a lot of young priest helpers running here and there with merry faces "it's finally over, we can take a rest":)
The schedule of processions in Wrocław - HERE
W zeszłym roku w Boże Ciało (7 VI) magistrat urządził otwarcie strefy kibica Euro2012. Dziś jest inaczej. W 2014 BC przypada na 19 VI, zobaczymy, co będzie się wtedy działo. W 2016... wśród feerii festiwali ESK procesje znikną czy może zostaną włączone w przebieg wielkiego rocznego święta? Postulat uwzględnienia procesji w obchodach ESK i nieurządzania wielkich, konkurencyjnych, świeckich wydarzeń eMSA wysunie do stosownych osób w stosownym czasie.
Zatem życzymy wszystkim miłej parady!
Perhaps some of you may wonder why some people today are caryying birch twigs... The tradition is connected to The Body of Christ holy day (Corpus Christi) of which I am total anthropological fanatic:) The custom tells to take them from four altars once the holy procession passed by and keep them at home for protection. Nice tradition, good beliefs, very pro-social, strenghtening local identity and integrating local community, also very quiet and nature friendly (birches grow fast in Poland and there are no plastic waste after that, as for instance after "very modern weddings" with plastic flower petals!). Even in XXI century it's sometimes better to believe this silent protection than a dog barking very loudly or a camera following each step. Watch the photos here.
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