Polish Heritage Society of Rochester
Watch for information each Christmas season on programs to be presented by the Polish Heritage Society of Rochester, the Krakow Sister Cities Program and the Rochester Museum and Science Center, especially the annual Wigilia celebration and szopka workshop.
See the links page for additional information on the web related to this article.
This program is funded by a grant from the Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York State Legislatures. Additional support has been provided by the Polish Heritage Society of Rochester and the volunteer support of its members.
One of the most beautiful European Christmas traditions, the Cracow szopka (“shop – kah” ; plural: “shop – key”) is a folk art form with a rich history dating to the Middle Ages, when they originated as puppet theaters in the churches of Krakow, Poland. These structures were used for morality plays during the Christmas season. At a time when few people could read, these productions helped to convey moral and educational lessons. Over time, these productions became less religious and more secular and in the early 1700’s they were forbidden on church property. Denied the patronage of the church, szopka entertainers carried their creations through the streets and performed their plays to music, auditioning for peoples’ holiday parties.
In 2010, A szopka workshop was held October 23-24, 2010 at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. Click to open the brochure (PDF, 2 MB).