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    Celebrating Easter Monday in Kraków Countryside: Reviving the Age-Old Tradition of Siuda Baba

    Easter Monday in the villages surrounding Kraków is a time for celebration and tradition. Every year, the old Polish folk custom of Siuda Baba is re-enacted in a handful of these villages. A man, dressed as a sooty woman and donning torn clothes, visits each home accompanied by a Gypsy and a few Cracovians.

    As they travel from house to house, they collect money and seek out young women to ceremoniously smudge with soot. This centuries-old custom is a beloved tradition in the region and continues to bring joy to generations of families.

    The rest of the article is below the photo gallery.

    The mysterious Siuda Baba has been seen roaming the streets of Poland, wearing a tattered skirt and adorned with a necklace of potatoes, chestnuts, and wood. She carries a box of black soot mixed with cream and is accompanied by a Gypsy dressed in black and armed with a riding whip. It is said that Siuda Baba uses this special mixture to smear young women, leaving them with a mysterious black mark.

    Who is this mysterious woman and what is the purpose of her strange ritual?

    Residents of a small village are convinced that smearing a face with soot brings luck and encourages marriage among single young women. According to local legend, Siuda Baba keeps a special watchful eye on those who have been marked with the soot. If she notices that it has been removed, she will apply an even more generous amount.

    Siuda Baba is an especially popular symbol in Lednica Górna and they take care of this tradition each year. They also encourage young people to celebrate this ceremony and make special souvenirs with the characters of a Gypsy and Siuda Baba.

    The video below illustrates this custom.

     

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