Summer Solstice Celebration in Poznan, Poland

Finally! Summer time! The most anticipated time of the year for me and probably for many of you! Whilst the weather in Berlin currently leaves a lot to be desired I'd like to go back in my memory to last year. 

 

In different parts of the world there are many customs for welcoming the Summer. Festivals are held near Stonehenge in the UK, in Denmark it is common to light bonfires and in Sweden people go skinny-dipping (definitely on my to do list). There is one celebration I would like to focus on in this post. The one from my home country - Poland. The shortest night of the year is called "noc świętojańska" (translation: St. John's night) or "noc kupały" (way easier to pronounce) and the celebrations of that night are strongly connected to the old slavic pagan beliefs. The original custom included girls letting wreaths, that were made out of flowers and lit with candles, onto the river. If it was caught by a young men, the girl would marry soon, if it kept flowing, she will have to wait a while. Don't ask what would happen if the wreath sank or caught into flames!

 

Not long ago though, the old customs were replaced by the new. Especially in big multicultural cities where traditions tend to mix, here a new one was born. For the past few years in Poznan thousand of paper lanterns are being lit and released into the sky on that particular night, creating one of the most breathtaking views you will ever see. I travelled across the border from Berlin, just for one day, only to be able to photograph this event. 

The Breathtaking view from the Chrobry Bridge
The Breathtaking view from the Chrobry Bridge
Close up of the lanterns
Close up of the lanterns
Long exposure shot, showing some movement
Long exposure shot, showing some movement
A couple holding up the lantern
A couple holding up the lantern
Poznan tried to break the Guinness World record of the most released paper lanterns at the same time
Poznan tried to break the Guinness World record of the most released paper lanterns at the same time
I found it quite romantic
I found it quite romantic
RIght in between train tracks on the Chrobry bridge
RIght in between train tracks on the Chrobry bridge
Up up in the air
Up up in the air
The international crowd
The international crowd
The lanterns look like stars in the sky
The lanterns look like stars in the sky

Even though the world record of sky lanterns released into the sky wasn't broken on that day, I was still happy to be able to participate in the event. Unfortunately due to problems with the organizers it was cancelled this year. 


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I am Marta Kulesza - the photographer and creator of www.inafarawayland.comI come from Poland, but I've been living, travelling and working around the globe since I turned 18. A few years ago, during one of my trips to Scotland, I bought my first DSLR and my adventure with photography began. When I am not stuck to my computer editing photos, you can find me somewhere in the mountains. 

 

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