For many years, on the first Tuesday after Easter, the traditional Rękawka Festival has taken place at the Krakus Mound in Kraków, southern Poland. This year the visitors had an opportunity to watch several hundred reenactors representing medieval warriors, as well as to learn about the secrets of medicine and magical teachings from that time, and even to meet a witch.
As usual, the celebration began with the rite of lighting a fire, and then the race of fully equipped warriors around the mound. The program of this year's Rękawka celebrations included the reenactment of treatments for insanity, there were also stalls of early medieval specialists in the fields of health and happiness: a Slavic witch, a Hungarian shaman, a Byzantine alchemist and herbalist. There were also concerts of medieval music in the programme.
Rękawka is a festival which dates back to pre-Christian times, referring to the pagan spring rites, with a funeral feast and burning fires. Later, the festival was incorporated into local Christian tradition and a church was built where indulgences accompanied by feasts were performed.
The term "Rękawka" comes from Old Slavic word used to describe a coffin or a grave”.
In 2001, the then Podgórze Community Centre (now the Podgórze Culture Centre), together with the Wisła Warriors Team decided to return to the Slavonic roots of this festival and to prepare a reconstruction of events from centuries ago by the Krakus Mound. Since then, every year they present an image of everyday life in early medieval settlements.