Folklore and regional celebrations
The old traditions, songs, dances, crafts and culture of Northern Kashubia are cultivated by numerous folk artists, performing groups and cabarets functioning throughout the districts of Norda. Souvenirs should include the creations of local embroiderers, wood carvers, painters and amber artists. The Kashubian language and anecdotes can be heard during various events and festivities which include performances by such groups as: the Kashubian Cabaret FIF, KLEKA Band, Black Hat Band and Manijoce Band. Also worth mentioning is Bursztynki (Amberettes) group active at the Puck Center for Culture Sport and Tourism. Most of its members are residents of the village of Mieroszyno where passion of Kashubian folk culture is cultivated. There is also children's song and dance group Strondowi Oste from Żelistrzewo and a youth group Muszelki (Shells) from Swarzewo.
Kashubian Boats Under Sail
That is KASZEBZCIE BOTE POD ŻOGLAME. That is the name of a unique fete that has been held for nearly three decades in Chałupy. Every July at the event, visitors may admire the regatta of traditional Kashubian fishing boats as well as get to know Kashubian culture and the fisherman's craft. The event includes extensive artistic programme featuring performances by regional folk groups. Various conests ae held and the intricacies of local folkcrafts are demonstrated. This is also an occasion to sample the delicacies of traditional Kashubian cookery.
Day of the Fish
The flagship event of Hel is known throughout Poland. Its highpoint is a cook-off in which all the town's restaurateurs take part. Other attractions such as painting fish on canvas, building sand fish, Poland's biggest frying pan full of fish, a shanty concert as well as contests and games on the Seaside Boulevard stage are guaranteed to keep visitors entertained all day long.
Hel D-Day Historical Parade
This several-day outdoor event allows collectors and military history enthusiasts to present military hardware, uniforms and vehicles to the public in dynamic historical shows reenacting the greatest battles of World War II. More than 200 participants, extras and stuntmen take part. On display are vintage military vehicles, professional pyrotechnical, sound and light effects are presented and air and sea landings are re-enacted. The re-enactments and parades take place in the town, on the beach and in and around the Hel fortifications. The event is accompanied by festivities and concerts.
The use of snuff has been a longstanding Kashubian tradition. The practice was once widely cultivated by Kashubian peasants and fishermen. It had its own lore and ritual. Every business transaction was preceded by taking a pinch of snuff. Snuff was used by faithful seated in their pews at church and it was given to the sick in the belief that it could cure coughs and colds. The social ritual of using snuff and treating others to a pinch or two was connected to the art of its preparation and storage. Snuff was kept in snuff-boxes made of different materials and having various (often horn shaped) forms. Some were richly ornamented.
The snuff itself, ground tobacco leaves, came in several types ranging from mild yellow to the most potent black variety. One legend claims that snuff was cultivated inKashubia by the devil himself, hence it was frequently referred to as "the devil's herb". Today, snuff-taking demonstrations, snuff collections and the tales and anecdotes connected with this pursuit can be seen and heard at such regional events as the Kashubian Feast in Kuźnica.
Another element of Kashubian folklore are the characteristic "hieroglyphics" ilustrated images known as "Kashubian Notes" performed as a ditty by regional folk groups at various events and fetes. (Formerly, they had ben sung at family gatherings.)
A large display board containing the painted images of various things and notions is placed on stage and choral group or the public sing the names of successive images on the staff as the master of ceremonies points to them with a pointer.
A performance of "Kashubian Notes" is enjoyed by many visitors to Norda who have an opportunity to learn at least a few words of Kashubian.
The art of embroidery appeared on the Kashubian coast thanks to the Cistercian nuns of Żarnowiec. They set up a convent school for girls fom better-to-do homes which included embroidery lessons. In time, the handicraft made its way ino the common folk and became one of the basic fields of folk art. Embroidery adorned everyday attire as well as holiday fnery, table-cloths and the linens used to decorate home altars ad shrines. Two schools of Kashubian embroidery emerged in Norda. The Wejherowo school (where lemon yellow and red colours predominated) was started by Franciszka Majkowska in 1882. The Puck school emerged in the beetween the wars period, and its dominant colours are navy-blue, dark green and pitch black. Moreover, its motifs reflect plant species found only in Kashubia such as the sea holly and elements such as waves and fishermen's nets.