Height of pilgrimage season in Poland

Thousands of Poles walk to the shrine of Jasna Góra in Częstochowa, southern Poland from various places all over the country and from abroad.

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Pilgrims march to Częstochowa to attend the Assumption of Mary celebrations - one of the biggest yearly religious events in Poland.

On Monday morning, the 39th Warsaw Academic Metropolitan Pilgrimage set off from the St. Anne church in Warsaw. Around 3,000 young people will walk for 10 days to reach the Shrine of Jasna Góra in Częstochowa in southern Poland and are to reach their destination on August 14, the day before the Assumption of Mary.

The oldest pilgrimage from Warsaw will start walking on Tuesday. This will be the 308th edition of the Warsaw Pedestrian Pilgrimage.

On August 1, the 9th Polish-Ukrainian pilgrimage set off from Belz near the Polish-Ukrainian border.

One of the longest distances will be covered by pilgrims from Szczecin, north-west Poland, who started walking on July 29. The faithful from Ełk, north-east Poland, set off a day earlier. Their route is nearly 500km long.

Some pilgrimages gather representatives of a specific profession or a means of transport. On Monday, a total of 500 soldiers and employees of the Defence Ministry set off from Warsaw as the 28th Soldiers’ Pilgrimage.

There are people who go to Jasna Góra on bicycles, or rollerblades. On Saturday a total of 39 cyclists set off from Gniezno, western Poland, in the 8th Gniezno Bicycle Pilgrimage. The rollerblade pilgrimage from Warsaw will commence on August 22.

Every year the shrine in Częstochowa is visited by more than 4 million faithful. Jasna Góra is the most popular pilgrimage destination in Poland, and the tradition of walking there dates back to the 15th century. Last year, a total of 255 walking pilgrimages arrived at Jasna Góra. As many as 124,000 people took part in them.