For over 200 years the inhabitants of Spycimierz, a little village in the municipality of Uniejów, create colourful flower carpets with a length of almost 2 km along the Corpus Christi procession route. The Feast of Corpus Christi (Body of Christ) is a Catholic liturgical solemnity celebrating annually 60 days after Easter. It emphasizes belief in the body and blood of Jesus Christ as well as institution of the Eucharist. Besides the Holy Mass and processions, in several places of the world the unique tradition of composing floral carpets developed. Come to central Poland, Spycimierz to celebrate Corpus Christi and to see the famous Spycimierz flower carpets.
The history of creating flower carpets in Spycimierz goes back to a, hard to specify, period. Although the oldest written account of this custom comes from the parish chronicle dating back to 1957, the oral communication is much older. For the oldest message one should acknowledge the legend of the appearance of this custom along with the return of soldiers from Napoleon to their native village. The residents of Spycimierz admit that this custom dates back to the interwar period or the beginning of the 20th century.
The manner of arranging flower carpets has changed and evolved over the years. Initially, yellow sand and twigs were used, so the old decor was rather plain. Flowers began to be used later on, and the current manner of decorating the route developed after 1945.
This unique event is inscribed on the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Poland (only available in Polish: “Boże Ciało z tradycją kwietnych dywanów w Spycimierzu”). The list published by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage in co-operation with the National Heritage Board of Poland, includes over customs, traditions and ceremonies from Poland.
In the year 2016 Spycimierskie Corpus Christi was extended with several florist events.
Above all the cooperation with Uniejów’s Italian twin city Alatri (south-east of Rome) brought a beautiful tradition to Uniejów. Yearly during Corpus Christi guests from different Italian cities lay beautiful pictures with colourful flowers. You can admire these art works in the parish churches in Spycimierz, Wilamów and Wielenin as well as on squares and streets in the city of Uniejów.
See artists from Uniejów’s Italian twin city Alatri at work on their wonderful art pieces (2016):
Fleur de Lys from Uniejów’s Coat of Arms is the main player of the Kingdom of the Fleur de Lys Festival taking place in July. Visit this festival to see the newest florist presentations and the flower exhibition.
In 2016 the inhabitants of Uniejów laid Uniejów’s Coat of Arms and the logo of the World Youth Days. A beautiful Fleur de Lis carpet decorated the historic Collegiate Church located near the beautiful Market Square.