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Despite the weather, many families gathered on the Kraków Main Square to see the local finale of the 18th edition of the largest charity event in Poland, Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy ('The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity'). 
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Despite the weather, many families gathered on the Kraków Main Square to see the local finale of the 18th edition of the largest charity event in Poland, Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy ('The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity').

Excerpts from the Wikipedia: "The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (GOCC) is one of the biggest, non-governmental, non-profit, charity organizations in Poland. It was founded in 1993 by Jerzy Owsiak, Lidia Niedźwiedzka-Owsiak, Bohdan Maruszewski, and Piotr Burczyński. The main objective, at that time, was "Health Protection and Saving of Children's Lives Saving through Providing Medical Equipment to Public Hospitals" (from the deed of foundation). During the first Finale (for the benefit of pediatric cardio-surgery) in the same year, the Foundation collected a total of USD 1,535,440.68. Every year, millions of Poles donate their money to the Foundation and, between 1993 and 2005, they collected more than USD 60 million for public hospitals in Poland.

Apart from The Great Finale, the Foundation also organizes one of the biggest rock concerts in Poland, The Woodstock Stop, and it started the Peace Patrol, a group of young volunteers trained in first aid by the GOCC, the Polish Red Cross and the local police from the town of Szadowo.

The Great Finale takes place on the first or second Sunday of every new year. Sponsored by many Polish and worldwide companies, it is a one-day long, nationwide, money-raising event. Volunteers from all around Poland go out on the street and collect money in special cans which are labeled with a red heart. [...] Everyone who gives the volunteers any amount of money, gets a red heart sticker in return.

During this one day, huge parties are thrown around the country (and at other places where Polish people live). These are organized by volunteers, except for the biggest event which takes place at the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, and is managed by the GOCC itself.

Throughout seventeen Great Finales, the Foundation collected nearly $100 million for cardio-surgery, neonatology, pediatric oncology, kidney diseases, congenital defects, newborns and children under 5 years of age".

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The 18th Grand Finale of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, Kraków Main SquareThe 18th Grand Finale of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, Kraków Main SquareThe 18th Grand Finale of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, Kraków Main SquareThe 18th Grand Finale of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, Kraków Main SquareA fragment of a hi-res photo from the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity in Kraków
6th Great Dragons' Parade - the winner presentation by the Town Hall. 
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6th Great Dragons' Parade - the winner presentation by the Town Hall.
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6th Great Dragons' Parade6th Great Dragons' Parade6th Great Dragons' Parade6th Great Dragons' Parade
6th Great Dragons' Parade - presenting the participants. 
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6th Great Dragons' Parade - presenting the participants.
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6th Great Dragons' Parade6th Great Dragons' Parade6th Great Dragons' Parade6th Great Dragons' Parade
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8th Great Dragons' Parade on the Kraków Main Square. 
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8th Great Dragons' Parade on the Kraków Main Square.
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Panographer at work :) (photo by Ilja van de Pavert)Panographer at work :) (photo by Ilja van de Pavert)8th Great Dragons' Parade8th Great Dragons' Parade8th Great Dragons' Parade8th Great Dragons' Parade8th Great Dragons' Parade8th Great Dragons' Parade8th Great Dragons' Parade8th Great Dragons' Parade8th Great Dragons' Parade8th Great Dragons' Parade8th Great Dragons' Parade8th Great Dragons' Parade
Christmas market on the Kraków Old Town Square. 
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Christmas market on the Kraków Old Town Square.
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Thursday, Nov 2, 2017: On the walls of Palácio da Pena in Sintra, Portugal
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