The most famous carnival celebrations include those in Venice, Ivrea (Italy), Riyeka, the Belgian town of Binche, Macedonian Strumica and Vevčani and many other places, while the best known event in Poland is the ‘Highlanders’ Carnival’, organized by the Bukowina Community Centre ‘Franciszek Ćwiżewicz Folk House’ in Bukowina Tatrzańska. Carollers groups from Malopolska, the Żywiec area and other Polish regions, as well as representatives of Slovakia got together in Bukowina Tatrzańska for 38th time running. They performed rituals preserved from generation to generation. According to tradition, the groups go caroling around villages from St Stephen’s day (26 December) to Candlemas (2 February) but in Bukowina they give their performances on stage, outside the ritual time. The jury selected the winners of Gold, Silver and Bronze Highlander Pins.
Carnival is the time of dressing up, of masks, dancing, motion, fun, music, and also noise. In the programme of the event in Bukowina they are reflected in carollers’ costumes and props, beastly monsters, folk bands and instruments which accompany the carollers, in carolling and making speeches, highway robbers dancing competitions, races of small highlanders sleighs, or extraordinary, noisy whip cracking by New Year’s ‘Żywiec beggars’, represented this year by the groups ‘Jukace from Żywiec-Zabłocie and ‘Wyrwicisy’ from Cisiec.