Guardians of tradition
On March 2nd, 2016, the Parish Association “Corpus Christi of Spycimierz” was established in Spycimierz. Two months later, it was registered in the National Court Register in Łódź. The main objective of the Association is to actively preserve among the parishioners the tradition of arranging flower carpets for the feast of Corpus Christi in Spycimierz and to care about the religious dimension and the sacred nature of solemn Corpus Christi celebrations in Spycimierz, in the Commune of Uniejów.
For future generations
The Association helps to get the whole parish community more involved in this beautiful tradition, with emphasis put on its religious symbolism and Christian dimension. Although it has existed for two years only, the Association has already participated in numerous actions undertaken by the parish and the commune, for example, it promotes the local cultural heritage abroad. The Parish Association “Corpus Christi of Spycimierz” was the main initiator of the efforts aimed at entering the tradition of arranging flower carpets in the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
In the rhythm of holidays
Thanks to the founding of the Association, old and new activities are gaining ground in the life of the local community. In Spycimierz, the calendar of the most important events is determined by:
- Tulips for John Paul II (May 1) – at the square next to the church in Spycimierz, white tulips of the John Paul II variety bloom, and in the middle of the temple, at the Pope’s bust, the inhabitants put flower pots with white tulips
- Corpus Christi – it is worth adding that on Saturday before Corpus Christi, a floral picture is being arranged in Uniejów by the inhabitants of Spycimierz
- Elevation of the Holy Cross (September 14, parish fair) – on Saturday before the church fair on Sunday, a cross from autumn flowers is laid on the church square.
The seminars of Spycimierz
In 2018 the Association co-organized two seminars in a form of interdisciplinary workshops co-financed with the funds from the National Center of Culture as a part of the Programme Culture – Interventions 2018. EthnoPoland.
The first seminar took place on 20 th October 2018 in the castle of Uniejów. The presentation “Corpus Christi of Spycimierz, Intangible Cultural Heritage – role of parishioners” was presented by Maria Pełka – president of the Parish Association “Corpus Christi in Spycimierz”. The tradition of composing flower carpets was presented by representatives of German municipalities Mühlenbach and Bohlsbach and the Italian municipality Pietra Ligure. The presentations were followed by a teleconference with the partners from Ponteareas (Spain). Afterwords Mr. Andrzej Godlewski spoke about the preparations related to the creation of an international consortium, which plans to submit an application for the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Professor Katarzyna Smyk from Maria Curie-Składowska University of Lublin discussed her research of tangible heritage in Spycimierz and dr. Piotr Szkutnik from the University of Łódź gave a lecture „Queries in the archives and creating the archives of Spycimierz”.
The seminary was accompanied by premiere of a photo album “Corpus Christi in Spycimierz. The Tangible Cultural Heritage” by photographer Janusz Tatarkiewicz.
On 17 th of November the 2nd seminar of Spycimierz took place. Experts in ethnology, cultural studies, history and regional promotion presented the current state of knowledge on tradition of Corpus Christi in Spycimierz, its cultural meaning and the possibilities for further dissemination in the context of tourism and pilgrimage.
Maria Pełka, president of the Parish Association “Corpus Christi in Spycimierz” spoke about the ceremony of receiving an entry to the National List of Tangible Cultural Heritage, which took place at the end of October in Warsaw. Further, professor Bogdan Włodarczyk, dean of the Faculty of Geography of the University of Łódź gave a presentation “The contexts of the Corpus Christi ceremony in Spycimierz”.
Professor Magdalena Ziółkowska-Kuflińska from the Institute of Sociology of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań spoke about flower carpets in cultures and societies in the world. At the end of this part, dr. Piotr Szkutnik, from the University of Łódź, presented the results of the research in Polish archives on the history of Spycimierz and the tradition of Corpus Christi.
After the scientific part of the seminar, the presentation of the film “A Village Painted with Flowers” from the year 1988 directed by Andrzej Moś, took place. It was followed by the workshops which aim was to present the heritage of Spycimierz in new contexts and to indicate further possibilities of its dissemination.
The first part of workshops focused on the threats to intangible cultural heritage and the ways of its prevention, led by professor Katarzyna Smyk from the University of Lublin. The second part, focused on the best practices in the field of protection of intangible cultural heritage, was led by Jolanta Dragan, curator in Museum of Folk Culture in Kolbuszowa.