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Lajkonik – also known as the Tartar rider or the hobby-horse of Kraków (or Zwierzyniec) is one of the main symbols of Kraków. Lajkonik’s cortege marching along the streets of the city represents a custom that has been practised for centuries on the first Thursday following Corpus Christi.

The legend itself dates back to the events of 1287. Tartar armies crept forward without being seen to arrive close by the city. Here they decided to spend the night in the bulrushes by the Vistula, close to the village of Zwierzyniec, and to attack the city in the morning mists. They were discovered there by raftsmen, locally known as włóczkowie, who without hesitation overpowered the sleeping army, thus saving the city from ruin and plunder. They soon changed into Asian costume and rode into the city on the horses they had seized as trophy. They inspired all the city with fear, yet soon the townsfolk came to rejoice. On the same day the Mayor of Kraków announced that to commemorate the event, a raftsman dressed as the Tartar Khan will enter the city once a year, leading the cortege of Kraków włóczkowie. Today, during the traditional procession from Zwierzyniec to the Main Market Square, Lajkonik deals out good luck blows with his mace.

  • Measures: 
  • Imported from Poland
  • Mouth blown and hand Painted

Polish Ornament, Lajkonik


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