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Kolędowanie by Michał Elwiro Andriolli, an illustration from Zygmunt Gloger's Rok Polski w Życiu, Tradycyj i Pieśni (The Polish Year in Life, Tradition & Song), 1900, photo: National Library Polona

What traditions have Poles enjoyed at different times of the year? Let’s find out by looking at how classic Polish painters depicted them, and see how Christian, pagan, secular and other traditions mixed and merged in Poland’s calendar to create a unique and picturesque culture.

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1.	St. Nicholas in a fresco at the St. Nicholas Cathedral in Kalisz, photo: Agencja SE / East News

Most Poles receive their Christmas presents from Santa Claus – but did you know we have five other mystical figures dishing out gifts during the winter holiday season too? Culture.pl investigates the myths and even the maths when it comes to getting presents in Poland.

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Zaduszki candle, photo: Forum Agency

One of the most important family holidays in Poland, Zaduszki sees people all over the country gather to visit the graves of their loved ones. All throughout Poland graveyards glow with lights.

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Youngsters celebrating Easter Monday, known as Śmigus-Dyngus (Wet Monday), photo: Michał Tulinski/Forum

A good piece of advice: beware of Easter Monday in Poland! Although this advice might seem strange, you really should take it to heart, cause otherwise… you’ll get soaked! The tradition of Śmigus-Dyngus is still going strong in Poland.

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Ритуал гадания о будущем, фото: Адам Стемпень / East News

Have you seen young Poles suddenly gathering to pour wax through old keys at a party? Then you've seen the modern versions of very old pagan traditions.

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