On May 1-3, the opening hours of the branches of the Museum of Krakow are changed. More information in the Events >> News tab.
Can we store cookies? It will help you get the best possible experience from us but it is up to you to decide whether to decline or accept them.

The parade of Lajkonik

Zdjęcie Lajkonika. Pod kościołem Norbertanek w Krakowie.

Take part in this year’s frolics of Lajkonik, follow his colourful procession! Experience the living traditions of Krakow!

The parade of Lajkonik

Krakow in the city, where legend and tradition did not eventually give in to modernity. The annual parade of Lajkonik (called also the Zwierzyniecki Horse) is the best example. Every year, on the first Thursday after the Corpus Cristi holiday (see the calendar of the Lajkonik procession for the years 2023–2028), a rider on an artificial white horse, wearing a black beard, dressed in colourful clothes from the East, wanders around the streets of Krakow, from Zwierzyniec to the Main Market Square. Apart from the crowd of viewers, he is accompanied by a standard-bearer, carrying a majestic banner with the White Eagle, twenty Wisła rafters “włóczki” in colourful clothes, as well as an eight-person band called “Mlaskoty”, whose music gives the rhythm to the march. The origins of this tradition of Krakow are elusive. The legend says that Lajkonik is a reminder of the time when Krakow was saved from the invasion of Tatars in the 13th century, when the rafters, mentioned above, heroically repelled the invaders in Zwierzyniec, killing their leader. Then one of the rafters put on the robes of the defeated Khan and triumphantly entered the city, announcing the victory to the residents. Whether these were the roots of the legend – the historians are not sure (they refer back also to the pagan times, as well as the church ceremonies), but we know for sure that Lajkonik has been travelling his route for several centuries and is one of the most important symbols of Krakow. The Museum of Krakow is assigned to protect and care for this symbol. The car and tram traffic is blocked on the route of the procession, and the Tatar with his procession visits local shops, bars and restaurants, receiving “tribute” due to the invaders. It is worth to see the difficult dance with the banner, which is performed by Lajkonik three times during the procession (see the map). Lajkonik gently strikes passersby with his wooden mace. They do not evade the strikes – they are believed to bring good luck. The procession ends in the evening at the Main Market Square, where Lajkonik meets with the Krakow City officials and receives a moneybag as a tribute. Then he makes a toast to the city prosperity and performs the last dance.

The calendar for the parade of Lajkonik in the years 2023–2028

15 June 2023

6 June 2024

26 June 2025

11 June 2026

6 June 2027

22 June 2028

The parade

1, Senatorska Street – the seat of Krakow Water.
The colourful procession leaves from outside the Krakow Water Company. Children can count on a sweet treat from Lajkonik here.

Na Stawach Square
Lajkonik visits local merchants and collects the “tribute”, payable to the leader of Tatars.
The Rudawa bridge

The Convent of the Norbertine Sisters
In the convent courtyard Lajkonik performs the first dance, followed by a short rest at the hospitality of the convent abbess.

The Rodła boulevard. Lajkonik meets the rafters of Krakow and visits the Water Police Station.

March through the Kościuszki Street
Lajkonik and his entourage visit the roadside shops in order to get the “tribute”.

The procession rests in the “Smil’y” inn.

The procession crosses the intersection with the Krasiński Avenue.

March down the Zwierzyniecka Street.
Also here Lajkonik visits the local merchants.

Crossing close to the Krakow Philharmonic
Near the place where the defence walls once stood, behind which Krakow lay, traffic is temporarily stopped so that Lajkonik can perform his second dance.

March through the Franciszkańska and Grodzka Streets to the Main Market Square.
Bishop’s Palace
Lajkonik bows

The procession rests at the “Nienasycenie” bar.

The Main Market Square
Lajkonik enters the stage under the Town Hall Tower. He stands before the Krakow City officials and receives a tribute in a big moneybag. Together with the Mayor he makes a toast to the success of the Krakow citizens and then he performs his third dance, called urbem salutare (an obeisance to the city).

Final march of the procession round the Main Market Square.

The procession rests at the “Hawełka” restaurant.
Zdjęcie Lajkonika. Pod kościołem Norbertanek w Krakowie.


  • Cracovia Danza
  • Fundacja Ardente Sole
  • Fundacja Osada nad Wisłą
  • Karczma Smil’y, bar Nienasycenie
  • Teatr Walki Leszka Galicy

Main partner:

Co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund – a state special purpose fund