International Festival of Mountain Folklore – an international folklore event with a long tradition held annually in the second half of August in Zakopane. The main prizes are gold, silver and bronze ciupagi (English: shepherd’s axes).
“International Festival of Mountain Folklore is an event that unites and unifies, but also shows the latest trends in the field of native culture,” Deputy Prime Minister Professor Piotr Gliński said during the conference “Zakopane good emotions – traditional folklore and heritage of the mountains,” held at the headquarters of the National Institute of Culture and Rural Heritage in Warsaw. During the event, the program of the 53. International Festival of Mountain Folklore, which will be held in Zakopane from August 19-26, was presented.
The International Festival of Mountain Folklore is a prestigious folklore event. Over the past 50 years, it has been attended by nearly 600 foreign groups from dozens of countries and more than 200 Polish groups. The competition’s formula, based on competition in three equal categories: authentic, artistically elaborated and stylized, has stood the test of time and still attracts ensembles from different countries and continents wishing to compete for the most important trophy, the “Golden Ciupaga.”
Activities associated with the event focus on the protection, support and popularization of intangible cultural heritage and the presentation of living phenomena of traditional folk culture found in Podhale and other mountain regions in Poland, Europe, as well as the world. The Festival is an important event for the highlanders of Podhale, who through it can strengthen their bond, and regional identity, as well as evoke the most valuable elements of their culture.
An essential part of the Festival is the competition presentations, in which folklore groups take part. They prepare special artistic programs based on the traditions of their region, often reconstructing forgotten customs and rituals.
This year’s 53 edition of the International Festival of Mountain Folklore will be held in Zakopane between August 19 and 26. The organizers of the event are Zakopane City Mayor and Zakopane Cultural Center, while its partner is the National Institute for Culture and Rural Heritage. The festival is financed each year by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage under the “Folk and Traditional Culture” program.