Krakow, Poland: ‘Lajkonik Festival’ [10th June 2010]
The Lajkonik is a parade through the streets of the city's old town celebrating historic events that have surrounded the city since its founding 1400 years ago. One part of the parade is to remember the defeat of the Tartars, also known as the Mongols, in 1241. In the procession a man dressed in Mongol attire with a wooden horse around his waist is followed by musicians, young children and revelers. Starting from the 12th Century Convent of St Norbet, the march lasts for hours until it finishes at the historic market square, which incidentally is the largest medieval square in the world. This festival has taken place every June for the past 700 years, indicating the mark the invading forces left on the city; the historic city, in which Pope John Paul IIwas born.