The festival began in 1979 and has been honoured with the presence of Polish International artists including a visit by the former President and Nobel Laureate, Lech Walesa in 2003.
The word Dozynki means a celebration of harvest and this is celebrated in Poland, the USA and here is South Australia. The symbol of Dozynki is the Wieniec, [harvest wreath] which was presented to the landowner. This large wreath was made of a mixture of wheat and rye, sometimes one or the other. These grains were considered the most important. Crafted from the most beautiful ears of grain, the Dozynki wreath was made in the shape of a dome-shaped crown. It was decorated with flowers, ribbons, hazelnuts, and the fruit of the mountain ash tree.
The first Dozynki festivals in Adelaide were actually called “Polish Day” and were held for several years at Parks Community Centre then transferred to the Regency College and later to Rymill Park. Last year as part of the tri-annual Australian Pol-Art festival Adelaide was proud to host artists from around Australia and New Zealand and Dozynki was held in Elder Park.
This year we are back again at the Polonia Croydon Kings soccer ground and the program will commence at 9.30am with mass followed by the official opening at 11.30am which will consist of presentation of bread and salt by the most senior male and female members of Tatry Folkloric Ensemble in national costume to the most senior Member of Parliament present followed by guest speakers and the Tatry Ensemble performing traditional Polish dances and songs to celebrate the new harvest.
Performances on stage will continue with singers, dancers and various performers and activities including “pierogi” eating and wheat sheaf tossing competitions as well as cooking demonstrations by the first winners of Ch 7 My Kitchen Rules Polish sisters Sammy & Bella. There will be many food and variety stalls as well as Polish beers, vodka and children’s activities so something for everyone’s enjoyment.