The houses as well as chicken/dog coops, the bridge, bins, etc in the secluded Polish village of Zalipie are blooming with intricate and vibrant paintwork created by its women.
The reasons behind this charming tradition are unclear but it probably began over a century ago when the smoke from stoves escaped through a little hole in the ceiling of the house. Women would paint over the spots of soot with whitewash to make their houses appear immaculate for religious festivals, but some of the spots remained visible through the paint. So they started covering the remnants of soot stains with paintings of flowers. With time modern cooking arrived and these cover-ups were no longer necessary but instead of disappearing the flower patterns became more and more sophisticated.
The village even hosts an annual competition in which local painters create their own intricate floral arrangements on the houses as well as touching up patterns from previous years.