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There is never a bad time to visit Warsaw. But time your visit to one of the city’s festivals and you’ll have a unique chance to mix with locals and experience Warsaw’s culture and cuisine. Here are five of the best annual events in Warsaw.
1. Carnival. Poland is an overwhelmingly Catholic country, and one of the most devoutly religious in Europe, so Lent is strictly observed. In the days leading up to Lent, Warsaw is awash with food and drink stands, as the locals make merry in preparation for 40 days of abstinence.
2. Topienie Marzanny. Topienie Marzanny (The Drowning of Marzanna) is one of the biggest festivals in city’s calendar. Marzanna is a Slavic goddess associated with winter, and so every year the locals gather to burn or drown an effigy of her, celebrating the first day of spring. It is therefore usually on March 21.
3. Noc Swietojanska. St. John’s Night (or Midsummer’s Eve) is one of the most unusual and enjoyable spectacles in Warsaw. Visit on June 23 to witness the city’s unmarried women toss wreaths into the Vistula river to attract a husband (long story), then enjoy a night of fireworks, concerts, food and drink.
4. Chopin Summer Concerts. Summertime in Warsaw means many great events, from film festivals to jazz jamborees, but the most distinctly Varsovian has to be the series of afternoon Chopin concerts held in Lazienki Park.
5. Christmas Fair. Visit the capital during December to see it transformed into a fairytale winter wonderland, with fun Christmas markets, countless nativity scenes and beautiful church recitals on every corner.