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“Everything from soup to nuts” – the Carpathian trade fairs

Bearded women, dwarf and fire-eating shows, troupes of wandering jugglers – old fairs were a true spectacle of peculiarities. Here the economy mixed with magic, and foreign goods with local handicraft. The history of Carpathian fairs is long and fascinating. In the times when even the most daring minds did not dream of shopping centres and great theme parks, it was fairs which played all these roles, and also contributed to the region’s economic and social development, because merchants coming from distant lands brought new customs to the local cities. read more

Fairs and trade fairs were there to satisfy all the needs of the residents of a given region. Master craftsmen offered their products and services from the Middle Ages. While the neighbouring villages supplied produce and handicrafts, the cities were home to specialised guilds of smiths, coopers, goldsmiths, and cobblers. The Carpathian fairs were a reflection of the multicultural and colourful tradition of this region.

The significance of fairs has diminished over the centuries, and finally has become completely marginal, as trade moved to the sites of great shopping centres, and traditional handicrafts were supplanted by the output of mass production.

The tradition of fairs is echoed today in trade fairs. They comprise a microcosm of local farming, production, and manufacturing. Discovering market richness is fostered by the trend to choose what is local and green. Here you can buy - free from chemical additives and other mass-production pollutants - products like eggs, cheese, milk, farm-made preserves, and also fruit and vegetables from orchards and gardens.

 

We follow the market trail to the Podhale, through the Pieniny Mountains, Beskid Sądecki, the Lower Beskids, to the Rożnowskie Plateau.  You will have an opportunity to buy “everything from soup to nuts.” Though the markets are not free from imported mass produced goods, they still offer the treasures of Carpathian thatches – old recipes and secrets of ancient handicrafts.

Listen to

Tygiel kultur i tradycji – o karpackich jarmarkach [The crucible of cultures and traditions – about the Carpathian fairs]

[MP3]

Coordinates

Zakopane Gubałówka                               49.297476  19.947794

Nowy Targ                                                  49.477254  20.038126

Krościenko                                                  49.441833  20.425471

Łącko                                                           49.563085  20.430579

Stary Sącz                                                   49.570947  20.636663

Nowy Sącz Rynek Maślany                     49.623232  20.694208

Zakliczyn                                                    49.856071  20.808555

Gorlice                                                        49.666354  21.170392


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