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Spycimierz, Corpus Christi. The locals created a traditional flower carpet

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On Corpus Christi, the streets of Spycimierz (Łódź Voivodeship), as every year, were covered with lilacs, jasmine, peonies and all other flowers blooming in May and June. Local residents make famous carpets out of them. The tradition of laying flower carpets for Corpus Christi processions has recently been entered on the UNESCO list.

Spycimierz is a village, there are hundreds of them in Poland. On Corpus Christi, however, crowds of tourists from all over the country come here to see the one-of-a-kind floral carpet. It takes a whole day to assemble it and requires over 15,000 pieces to be broken. plants.

Read also: Celebrations of Corpus Christi, processions will pass through the streets of the cities

The “Spycimierski flower carpet” is usually made of colorful petals and whole garden and field flowers. These are flowers of wild roses, red field poppies, blue cornflowers, jasmine, chamomile, lilac, iris, white and colorful acacia, broom, peony, coral viburnum and colorful lupins.

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The tradition of laying flower carpets is at least 200 years oldPAP/Marian Zubrzycki

Not only flowers are used for decoration, but also cones, fern leaves, palm trees, chestnut flowers and leaves, moss, boxwood, water stick, bark, seeds of various plants and cut grass – everything that looks and smells beautiful, depending on the creators’ idea . The patterns and forms of their execution differ each year and depend on the invention of the authors of a given composition.

Tradition on the UNESCO list

Since 2021, the carpet-laying tradition has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The decision on the entry was taken by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage during its 16th session in Paris. On this occasion, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage emphasized that “the tradition of flower carpets, which accompanies Corpus Christi processions, has existed in Poland continuously for over 200 years.”

See also: Corpus Christi processions in Warsaw in photos from years ago

“The creation of a carpet made of thousands of flowers during the Corpus Christi procession refers to the medieval tradition, when the royal gardens donated flowers to the Church, which were to be used to decorate the cathedrals to celebrate the ceremony” – indicated in the ministerial communiqué.

The tradition of laying flower carpets is at least 200 years oldPAP/Marian Zubrzycki

As it was written, “in the Polish tradition, during the procession on the occasion of the celebration of the Body and Blood of Christ, girls called Bielanka go before the priest carrying the Monstrance with the Holy Sacrament and sprinkle fresh or dried flowers”. “In some parishes, on the days preceding the processions, carpets of flowers are laid on the floors of the temple, as well as in front of the temples or along the procession road” – it was reported.

Flower carpet in Spycimierz, laid on the occasion of Corpus ChristiTVN24

The following towns are particularly famous for the tradition of laying flower carpets: Spycimierz (Łódź Voivodeship) and Klucz, Olszowa, Zalesie Śląskie and Zimna Wódka (Opolskie Voivodeship). Both traditions were entered on the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage – in 2018 the Spycimierz tradition, and two years later – a tradition cultivated in the Opolskie Voivodeship.

The flower carpet was laid in Spycimierz

Main photo source: PAP/Marian Zubrzycki

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