Krakow student festival (juwenalia) – what is it and how is it celebrated

Originally, the term juvenalia meant Roman games initiated by Emperor Nero. The first Juwenalia took place in Krakow in 1964, lasted three days and their goal was to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the founding of the Jagiellonian University. Musicians, mimes, and circus performers presented their skills. Today, it is an inseparable element of student culture. And although the tradition of juwenalia has been accepted in many academic cities, Krakow’s festival still remains the most recognizable one.

Keys to city gates in the hands of students.

Some traditions are inseparably connected with juwenalia. One of them is symbolically handing over the keys to the city gates to students. Thanks to handing over the keys, the students take over the city and, with the permission of the city authorities, start a few days’ fun.

A colorful student parade

Everyone who at least once participated in the Juwenalia festival in Krakow knows that the parade constitutes the essence of that holiday. Not only because traditionally the day of the parade is a day off from academic activities. It is a parade during which it is best seen that it is a celebration of young people. It already became a tradition that the participants wear costumes, and the creations that they prepare are more and more surprising every year. The parade traditionally marches from the AGH campus to the Main Market Square in Krakow.

Juwenalia – a celebration of youth, good music, and culture.

Currently Juwenalia is a celebration of young people, mainly students. It’s six days full of concerts, but also cultural events: traditionally, during the festival the nicest female student and the nicest male student are chosen. However, above all, it constitutes an integration of students from various Krakow universities, representatives of which may participate in a number of sports activities. An interesting tradition has also been the organization of the Juwenalia City Game, which is becoming more and more popular every year. Each year students are waiting for the P.I.W.O. project, a light show displayed on the buildings of the AGH campus.

Juwenalia 2019

How was the Juwenalia Krakowskie festival in 2019? The festival lasted from May 21st to 26th and students had the opportunity to enjoy the concerts of such bands as: Lao Che, Happysad, Organek, Krzysztof Krawczyk, Krzysztof Zalewski, Ralph Kaminski, Bitamina, Daria Zawiałow, or Kwiat Jabłoni. This year’s Juwenalia City Game was held under the “Project X” slogan. It is worth mentioning that individual universities in Krakow also organize their own juwenalia.