Dozynki Festival

Dozynki Festival

August 15
For many Christians around the world, August 15 is the Feast of the Assumption. But in Poland, it is also a time for celebrating the harvest. During the wheat harvest festival known as Dozynki Pod Debami, or Festival under the Oaks, the reapers make wreaths out of grain, flowers, nuts, and corn. When they present their wreaths to the master and mistress of the estate on which the wheat is grown, they are invited in for a feast, which is followed by dancing.
For Americans of Polish descent living in Orange County, New York—one of the richest onion-growing areas in the United States—the Dozynki Festival underwent a revival in 1939 under the name of the Feast of Our Lady of the Flowers . In the village of Florida, the streets were banked high with piles of onions, and there was a huge parade with floats depicting the arrival of the Polish immigrants in America and various aspects of the onion production industry. There was a costumed pageant in which the onion farmers presented the Lord and Lady of the Manor with a huge wreath of onions and flowers, followed by the Onion Dance, which had been created especially for the festival.
CONTACTS:
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20540
202-707-5510; fax: 202-707-2076
www.loc.gov
SOURCES:
FolkAmerHol-1999, p. 341
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 495