Ceremonial march of Jagiellonian University professors on the list of intangible cultural heritage
The tradition of the march of Jagiellonian University professors dates back to 1886. It was then that for the first time a multicoloured procession of scholars in togas walked through the streets of Krakow, solemnly inaugurating the academic year. However, the custom is certainly older, and although there was no concept of an academic year long ago, the event has its roots in the Middle Ages.
On 12th of February 2024, the ceremonial march of the professors of Poland’s oldest university was added to the national list of intangible cultural heritage. The route of the procession, which takes place every year on 1 October, leads from the oldest university building – the Collegim Maius – to the Auditorium Maximum hall. The colours of the tog vary depending on the faculty, and the order of the procession is a kind of journey into the history of the university: the representatives of the youngest faculties begin, and the representatives of the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Law end.
No, you won’t find representatives of Gryffindor and Slytherin in the Krakow procession – but it is undoubtedly an event that sparks the imagination. Vivat Academia, vivant Professores!
The National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage has been maintained since 2014 and is informative. The list is maintained by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage in cooperation with the National Heritage Institute. It is a consequence of Poland’s ratification of the 2003 UNESCO Convention on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.