Polish Foundation Presents Harvest Festival

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CLARK—The Polish Cultural Foundation in Clark invites you to come celebrate at its annual Polish Harvest Festival “Dozynki” on Sunday, Sept. 20, at 3 p.m.

There will be plenty of Polish ethnic food available as well as an assortment of Polish beers and spirits at the cash bar. All are invited to attend this colorful event highlighting 1,000 years of Polish tradition. The Polish American Folk Dance Company of Brooklyn, a group with a 70 year tradition of preserving Polish folk traditions will lead the Festival Program dressed in colorful, regional costumes, they will entertain all in their presentation of the harvest with folk dances and traditional couplets (humorous folk songs).

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After the program, adults can enjoy dancing to the music of DJ Kaczynski and children can play games under the auspices of the Polish Girl Scouts.

The Dozynki or harvest celebration is considered to be one of Poland’s most revered traditions. For 1,000 years in Poland, the tenant farmers presented the Lord and the Lady of the Manor with gifts and garlands of wheat and wild flowers as part of a joyous fall celebration of the harvest. Throughout Poland’s history much importance was placed on the harvest because it represents the fruits of the farmers’ labors, as well as their ability to sustain themselves throughout the winter months.

In gratitude, the “starosta” or lord of the Manor shares food, drink and music with his tenants. A procession of farmers with their implements, presenters and dancers in regional costumes accompanied by musicians will initiate the festival.

The festival consists of two parts: processional songs honoring the harvest, which are solemn in nature and reaffirm the reverence of the tradition; and the general celebration during which the celebrants return dressed in holiday finery to sing, dance, feast and play games. Dozynki reminds us today of our inherent connection to the land and to nature itself. Without the land, both in the past and present, there is no bread or life and indeed, no cause for celebration. Dozynki celebrations vary from region to region.

The Polish Cultural Foundation is located at 177 Broadway in Clark, NJ, just off Exit 135 of the Garden State Parkway. Tickets for the festival are $ 8 adults; children under the age 12 are invited to attend free of charge.

Polish Foundation Presents Harvest Festival

Polish Foundation Presents Harvest Festival B
The Polish American Folk Dance Company of Brooklyn performed at last year’s Dozynki celebration. (Photo credit: Karolina Szczepanska)


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