Three Kings take to the streets in Christmas cavalcades

Take a stroll through a town on January 6 and there is a fair chance you’ll run into the Three Wise Men backed by a procession.

The recounting the story of the Nativity of Jesus in the form of a play called Jasełka has been an important part of Polish Christmas’s celebrations for centuries, and the three kings have always been an important part of the pageant.

For a long, long time the plays were held in churches and schools but in 2009 teachers and pupils at the Żagle private school moved the traditional Jasełka onto the streets of Warsaw making it similar to the traditional Spanish or Mexican cavalcades of the Magi.

The idea was so popular that within a few years it had spread across the country. The small suburban town of Nadarzyn lying to the south-east of Warsaw, for example, has had its own cavalcade for five years now, with more and more faithful of St. Clement’s, the local parish, taking part both as actors and spectators. Bursting with colour and joy, the cavalcades are seen as evidence how old traditions can be given a new lease of life.