Polonaise on UNESCO’s list

Poland's Polonaise Photo: YouTube / Polonez Folk Arts Ensemble

POLAND’S traditional dance, the Polonaise, was added to UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on December 5.

This marks the 6th Polish tradition to receive this honor, following Kraków’s nativity scene tradition (2018), beekeeping culture (2020), falconry (2021), the tradition of floral carpets for Corpus Christi processions (2021), and rafting (2022).

The Polonaise, deeply ingrained in Polish culture, has historical roots dating back to the 16th century, initially called “walking” and later evolving into the Polonaise by the 18th century. This dance graces weddings, holiday festivities, and local events. Its popularity extends to national holidays and performances by both amateur and professional dance groups. The Polonaise remains a vibrant and widely embraced tradition across diverse settings in Poland, from rural areas and small towns to large urban centres.

Passed down through generations, the Polonaise remains a cultural legacy in Polish families abroad and communities with Polish roots. As an accessible and open dance, it is embraced by individuals at significant life events, especially for those for whom the Polonaise is a crucial part of their cultural identity.

The Polonaise, a dignified yet joyful group dance, accommodates varying numbers of participants, from a few to several hundred. The dancers move in pairs, marching rhythmically in a procession led by the first couple. The dance involves diverse moves, such as creating bridges with raised hands for others to pass under, forming groups, escorting partners, or changing the direction. (Source: TVP)

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Written by

Kevin Fraser Park

Kevin was born in Scotland and worked in marketing, running his own businesses in UK, Italy and, for the last 8 years, here in Spain. He moved to the Costa del Sol in 2016 working initially in real estate. He has a passion for literature and particularly the English language which is how he got into writing.