One of Kraków's most idiosyncratic Christmas traditions is the popular creation of szopki. Something of a strange cross between a nativity scene, a gingerbread house, and a dollhouse, these unique structures more resemble colourful, foil-covered castles or cathedrals than cribs and are the bizarre result of a folk tradition dating back to the Middle Ages. Re-popularised in 1937 with the first official Christmas Crib Competition, 2019 marks the competition's 77th edition. Locals will begin gathering at the Adam Mickiewicz monument on the market square with this year's entries on Dec 5th at 10:00, and you can expect large crowds admiring their work and snapping photos until noon, when the szopki will make their way around the market square in an official procession before disappearing for judging. If you can, put yourself on the market square that morning to witness this unique folk tradition; if not, don't miss a visit to the subsequent exhibition at the Kraków History Museum Celestat (open December 8th until February 23rd) during your stay.