Thousand of visitors each year are attracted to the small, picturesque village of Bukowina Tatrzanska, in Poland's Tatra Mountains.
GV ZOOM TO CU: Sign advertising carnival in Bukowina Tatrzanska Village and carollers outside and lodge decorated with trees. (2 shots)
SV: Young girl sets off on cross-country skis and falls over
SV: Crowd watch as girl's ski comes off and she is assisted by members of the crowd. (2 shots)
SV: Crowd watch, GV skier prepares to be towed by horse. (2 shots)
SV ZOOM OUT TO GV: Skier towed by galloping horse, crowd watch
SV: Crowd watch as skier and horse pass finish banner. (2 shots)
CU: Horse's head and GV timekeepers watch clock as horse begins around circuit towing traditional sleigh carrying tow people. (2 shots)
GV: Horse with sleigh galloping (at 62 18.9 1.39) sleigh capsizes and girl passenger falls out, she runs to catch up and remounts.
GV: Horse galloping with sleigh to finish line ZOOM TO crowd watching.
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Background: Thousand of visitors each year are attracted to the small, picturesque village of Bukowina Tatrzanska, in Poland's Tatra Mountains. There, an annual folk festival features carols, snow sports and traditional costumes.
SYNOPSIS: Visitors from throughout Poland and from other countries come to the Tatra Mountains to hear the carols and to witness the other distinctive folk traditions of the region. Even young children are encouraged to take part int he informal competitions, although sometimes cross-country skis are too cumbersome for the most junior contestants. Assistance is offered quickly by sympathetic spectators, who believe young people should learn to value the skills of the region's folk heritage.
The villagers provide a fine display of traditional costumes and the more daring among them attempt an exhilarating horse-drawn ski-ride.
Throughout much of Poland, such folk culture festivals are disappearing rapidly. But in the southern districts, the Gorale, or mountain people, keep their culture alive.
The Gorale here in the Podhale area, in particular, have a distinctive culture with characteristic costumes, decoration, architecture and music. And the snow sports and carolling competitions during the annual festival are especially helpful to the local economy, this year attracting ten thousand holidaymakers.
The merry-making included tests of skills in the sleigh time trials. Not only did the driver have to control his galloping horse, but he also needed to keep a tight reign on his passenger, who found the bucking sleigh on the undulating terrain an insecure perch.
In a race run for the spectacle, rather than the prize, there was no penalty in waiting for the young passenger while she regained her composure. The festival, celebrating a culture dating back thousands of years, is a cheerful interlude in the long, often harsh winters experienced in Poland's Tatra mountains.