back to top

    International Festival of Christmas Carols and Pastorals

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    Join the 30th International Festival of Christmas Carols and Pastorals in Będzin, Poland. Celebrating its musical jubilee, the festival invites choirs, ensembles, soloists, and duets to register on the website for a chance to participate in this grand celebration.

    The organizers of the 30th International Festival of Christmas Carols and Pastorals, named after Rev. Kazimierz Szwarlik, are eagerly awaiting submissions for this milestone event. Choirs, ensembles, soloists, and duets can already register on the festival’s website at

    Będzin’s festival is one of Europe’s largest Christmas carol showcases and simultaneously one of Poland’s largest amateur music festivals. Approximately 35,000 participants have taken part in all previous editions. According to Jarosław Ciszek, the festival’s spokesperson, December eliminations will be held in 31 Polish cities, as well as in Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus, and, for the first time, Italy (in Rome).

    Each soloist and duet will perform two carols, while ensembles and choirs will present three. The festival is open to amateurs (graduates of music schools with a maximum of a first-degree qualification). The interpretations can range from traditional sacred singing to modern musical accents, as long as the festive joy of welcoming the true God into their creations is felt,” said festival director Rev. Piotr Pilśniak.

    The grand finale of the jubilee edition will take place from January 7 to 14. On January 7, a combined thanksgiving Mass will be celebrated with a concert at the Holy Trinity Church in Będzin, where the history of this showcase began. Two days later, a concert featuring the State Folk Song and Dance Ensemble “Mazowsze” in memory of Tadeusz Sygietyński will be held at the Będzin Arena. From January 11 to 13, all-day final auditions of elimination winners will be conducted.

    The gala concert, where the winners will be announced, is scheduled for January 14. On this day, the winning entry of the third composition competition, announced this year, will also be performed for the first time. Auditions and the gala concert will be held at the Będzin Arena and will be broadcasted online. Participation in all festival events is free of charge. The 30th Festival is under the patronage of President Andrzej Duda.

    The festival’s history began in 1995 in Będzin’s oldest church, the Holy Trinity Church, thanks to the enthusiasm of the youth and the parish vicar, Rev. Piotr Pilśniak. The festival is named after the long-serving parish priest of the Holy Trinity Parish, the late Rev. Kazimierz Szwarlik. The first festival saw 116 participants, and from the ninth edition onwards, the number of soloists, duets, and groups has consistently exceeded a thousand, reaching as many as 1,800 in recent years. The festival is organized by the Foundation of the Nationwide Christmas Carols and Pastorals Festival and the City of Będzin’s Municipal Office.

    More in section