Batiar’s Day is a celebration of Lviv urban culture. During this holiday people have rare opportunity to dive into atmosphere, mood, style and life of Lviv phenomenon of ‘batiarstvo’.
These days every person in Lviv can become batiar and even get a certificate. The document says that person is a true batiar who likes nice entertainment, true connoisseur of beautiful lasses, honored guest in every pub, loves good joke and can amuse himself and company. The document also gives person a title of honored guest of batiar holiday.
Here we have gathered interesting facts about history of batiars and how they are remembered in Lviv.
Lviv batiars is a subculture that existed in Lviv. Its roots date back to middle of XIX century. Batiars became a phenomenon in early XX century. However, the subculture declined after soviet occupation.
The name of batiar probably comes from Hungarian ‘betyar’ that means a person with strange views and unexpected behavior, adventurer.
Lviv batiars appeared in Pogulyanka Park that was a center of entertainment.
In early XIX century they were hooligans, idles and pickpockets. Later batiars abandoned this and began to ridicule Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Later batiars acquired funny and romantic features. Their motto was ‘Love Lviv, love women and love joking’.
Some batiars participated in Polish-Ukrainian war (1918-1919) on the side of Poland. This caused spreading of a legend about ‘heroic batiars and children’ as chief creators of Polish victory.
Batiars became really popular with popularization of Lwów sub dialect during Second Polish Republic in 1918-1939.
From 1933 to 1939 there existed popular batiar radio show ‘On merry Lviv wave’ that broadcasted across all Poland.
Modern Lviv inherited ‘batiar folklore’ – humorist-lyrical songs, anecdotes, stories.
Batiar Bogdan Rybka characterized them in the following way:
They were certain petty hooligans (beszketnyks), you know, breaking someone’s window, somewhere “after a beer” arguing for a girl, kicking each other in a face. But it never reached a kind of bloody thrashing. Rather, batiars, they fought with the robbers (“evil-deeders”), they called them “kinders”, banishing them out of their district, punched them, and all the rest.
Manners didn’t allow calling woman of batiar ‘batiarka’. Still it was an honor for woman to become ‘koliezanka’. Batiar’s koliezanka Miroslava Sidor characterized them in the following way:
‘Each Lvivianka always strived to some kind of aesthetics and romance, while at the same time a fun with that. Maybe it is a bit extravagant, but the point is that you can relax when changing a routine to a such holiday (the Batiar’s Day)’.
In 2008 Lviv City Authority introduced Day of Lviv Batiars. The day is celebrated on May 1 under motto of ‘Batiars of all countries unite!’.
In 2015 the holiday lasted for 3 days. About 30 people dressed in the style of early XX century moved across city on bikes.
Batiars on rovers is the first bike ride to unite people who love style and city bikes. Three years ago Ukraine joined to world tradition of retro bike tours. Since then retro cruises took place in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa and Mykolaiv.
According to original London Tweed Run, Lviv Batiars on rovers are welcome to dress in any combination of tweed clothing and ride classic city bikes.
Source: Wikipedia, photo – social networks, vgolos.com.ua Lviv internet newspaper