„Bioły Jon” - a folk custom on the eve of an important celebration (´sobótka´ in Polish) based on the Opoczno region´s folklore. The custom survived in the region until the interwar period. It was observed mainly on the eve of St. John´s Day, i.e. 23rd June. On this particular day thatch roofs were decorated with burdock and wormwood, wells were cleaned and beds of cabbage were dug in an attempt to protect the vegetable from caterpillars and ensure its proper growth. The most important celebrations were organized just after the sunset. At that time boys and girls in their best clothes went to pastures in the area of a river, lake or pond. The y were tied with wormwood three times around their waists. In their scarves girls would carry small garlands, woven out of at least two plant species. One of them had to necessarily be flax stolen from a field of a family´s whose members were solely bachelors. Young people would sing love songs to accompany their walking. After reaching the meadow they would light a fire and swifter boys would jump over it.
The game would begin to strike a more enjoyable and funny note. The y would take part in role plays, reciting satirical poems. After they had stopped dancing round the fire, the girls would light candles on their garlands and walked with them around the smothering fire, after which they went to the bank of the river and placed them on the water. On the basis of how the garlands moved (and one of them symbolized a boy whereas the other symbolized a girl), the girls were able to foretell their future: if the garlands met, it meant getting married for its owners; if they separated, it meant bad luck; if they drowned, it meant death. In our performance we would like to show what a typical ´sobótka´ looked like – what songs were sung, the way participants behaved and what the general atmosphere was like. What is more, we wish to show you what dances were danced in this region and what typical musical instruments were used – e.g. how a band played a drum, characteristic of the region.
The performance lasts about 18 minutes.