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Discover in this article what kinds of Polish Celebrations are held throughout the year and why they are so important to Poles. Explore the history behind each holiday, as well as what activities take place during them and where to go for a truly memorable experience.
It’s important to understand the unique holidays and celebrations that this country has to offer. That said, this post dives into a comprehensive list of Polish Celebrations and special occasions you should be aware of for 2023! Don’t miss out on these exciting days – mark your calendar now!
Listed below are the most significant Polish Celebrations. Make sure to save these dates on your calendar! Dive into the culture with us and let yourself be enchanted by all these wonderful activities as you ring in a new year!
Polish Celebrations in January
Nowy Rok (New Year’s Day)
January 1st is a special day in Poland, as the country is at rest to heal from New Year’s Eve merriment. All shops are closed and no activities transpire—90% of Poles being Christians, they venture out only for church services. Everyone else stays indoors to enjoy quality time with family or recuperate from their hangovers and food coma!
Not only is New Year’s Day celebrated around the world, but here in Poland, it has its own unique customs and traditions that make this bank holiday so extraordinary! From festive foods to family games, Polish New Year celebrations bring people together from all walks of life.
Many ancient beliefs surround the first day of January. One such superstition is that men should be the first people to enter a home on this day. It’s said that doing so will bring good fortune in the new year.
Epiphany – 6th of January in honor of Trzech Króli!
Poland’s Ephiphany is a holiday strongly tied to faith. For Poland’s near neighbors—Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus—which are mainly Orthodox Christians, it symbolizes the start of what they recognize as “Christmas.”
In Poland, Christmas is celebrated until Kings’ Day and all stores are shut. In most cities, you can witness a magnificent parade of people dressed as kings. The celebration in Warsaw is particularly grandiose!
Poland Holidays in February
In Poland, Tłusty Czwartek is celebrated with a bountiful feast and joyous celebration like no other. From the sweet aromas of pączki (doughnuts) to delicacies such as sękacz (spiral cake), Fat Thursday marks an occasion for feasting and revelry. During special occasions, Poles can indulge in guilt-free doughnut eating and the more they eat, the better!
The day before the solemn Ash Wednesday always marks Tlusty Czwartek, an occasion for one last indulgence in junk food prior to Lent’s fast. Though Poles may not be particularly religious nowadays, everyone joins in on the Fat Thursday festivities by consuming at least two doughnuts!
Środa Popielcowa, the first day of Lent, marking a period of fasting and repentance.
Środa Popielcowa marks the start of Lent in Poland. As you may be aware, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are two days when fasting is highly recommended. People usually flock to churches on these occasions for prayers and to receive ash placed on their forehead – a signifier that Easter is only 40 days away! Thus, Środa Popielcowa becomes an important day to begin your countdown until Easter arrives in Poland.
Polish Celebrations in March & April
On March 8th, Poland celebrates Dzień Kobiet (Women’s Day), an annual occasion to recognize and honour the achievements of women.
This day is a reminder that when we foster opportunity for all genders, communities can flourish and our capacity for progress increases!
On March 8 every woman is showered with love and appreciation. Not only from her significant other but also from relatives and co-workers – not to mention the lovely bouquets of flowers or chocolates gifted by her youngest admirers in school! How delightful that even children recognize this special day for women everywhere!
The First Day of Spring – Pierwszy Dzień Wiosny
Each year, school children eagerly anticipate the first day of spring. On this special day, they construct a giant Marzanna doll out of fabric and twigs to symbolize their farewell to winter’s chill and embrace all that lies ahead in the season. In a grand finale ceremony, these youngsters joyfully hurl their dolls into the nearest river – celebrating nature’s transition from coldness to warmth!
Celebrating Wielkanoc or as known as Easter
Easter is the most sacred holiday in Poland, usually celebrated with families and friends. It begins on Great Sunday but the week before that holds its own special traditions as well. While spending Easter in Poland you will witness these customs firsthand – prayer taking place on Maundy Thursday, fasting observed on Good Friday, and food being blessed each Holy Saturday.
On a sunny Sunday morning, families in Poland come together to share an exciting breakfast and wish each other good health and fortune. If you’re looking for somewhere special to spend your spring season, Easter is the perfect occasion!
There will be plenty of delicious traditional dishes for all to enjoy as well as fun games that everyone can participate in. Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity—explore all the amazing Easter customs Poland has to offer!
The most highly anticipated day of the year for youngsters everywhere is “Wet Monday.” This event mirrors Thailand’s Songkran Festival, where everyone enjoys a good old-fashioned water fight. Beware: if you’re in Poland during Easter, it looks like you’ll be joining in on the fun!
Polish Holidays in May
Weekend Majowy or May Weekend
Are you curious to know which holiday follows Easter in Poland? Well, it’s always the May Weekend! During this period, crowds of people pour into Poland from all corners of the globe. That being said, it is not advisable to visit during this time since almost everyone is taking a vacation and travelling somewhere.
Whether that be Bieszczady Mountains or Tatra Mountains or even simply by sea. In fact, these destinations are so well-sought after they tend to fill up quickly with tourists eager for an unforgettable experience!
May 1st is a relic from the communist era and is known differently as International Workers Day. Ironically, this day is generally spent leisurely and it’s an especially popular holiday among Poles! May 3rd marks another national observance for Poland – Polish Constitution Day. This celebration commemorates the adoption of their constitution that occurred back in 1791.
Mother’s Day in Poland
Mark your calendar for May 26th—it’s a special day in Poland dedicated to honoring mothers and all they do. If you’re looking for the perfect way to show appreciation, flowers or chocolates are sure-fire winners!
The occasion is widely recognized throughout the nation — it’s reported on radio and television stations across the country. Poles hold family close to their hearts, of which mothers play an integral role as nurturers and caretakers.
Polish Holidays in June
June 1st is eagerly awaited by all kids, as they receive gifts of sugary treats from their beloved relatives. What’s even more fascinating about this special day is that it has become customary for moms and dads to get presents from their places of work – usually a bag full of delightful chocolates, sweets, and other goodies that every child craves!
In Poland, Father’s Day is commemorated in June on the 23rd. Since it falls at the end of school year, this special day generally receives less attention than Mother’s Day.
From May 21st to June 24th, Boże Ciało is a special religious feast celebrated 60 days after Easter every year. In Poland, it’s considered one of the nation’s most important holidays and features vibrant processions across the country — with little girls showering petals from above and boys ringing bells in joyous celebration. It’s truly an unforgettable event that pays homage to God!
Holidays in August
Assumption of Mary
On August 15th, Poland takes a well-deserved break to commemorate its official national holiday. People come together in prayer to Mary, the mother of Jesus, while shops and stores are closed for the day. Rather than an eventful occasion or momentous celebration, this sacred religious observance provides citizens with respite from their worklife balance – simply allowing them to do nothing on that special day.
Polish Holidays in November
All Saints’ Day Poland
On All Saints’ Day in Poland, citizens honor and remember their dearly departed by visiting cemeteries, lighting candles on gravesides, and leaving flowers as an ode to those who have passed. Additionally, attending mass is a common practice during this time of remembrance. Moreover, it’s also the perfect opportunity for family members to come together.
With many people reuniting with relatives they haven’t seen in years. Thus being said – Americans may have Halloween celebrations but Poles find solace from honoring loved ones lost through the sacred tradition of All Saints’ Day.
November 11th has always been a significant day for the Polish, as it marks their Independence Day. After 123 years of occupation from both Russia and Germany, Poland regained its autonomy on this very same date in 1918: an occasion that encapsulates their freedom after centuries of subjugation. For this reason, November 11th is one of the most treasured bank holidays celebrated within Poland each year.
On this special day, the residents of Poznan have something else to celebrate—the Rogale Swiętomarcińskie Festival! Have you ever heard of “rogale witomarciskie”? They are decadent croissants filled with marzipan.
As a nation, Poland exuberantly celebrates Independence Day as its most popular non-religious holiday every year.
Poland Celerations in December
Did you know that Mikołajki is Polish Celebrations on December 6th? On this day, it’s not Santa Claus who brings gifts – instead, an Angel or a Star deliver presents. In schools and kindergartens all over the country, children take part in festivities to commemorate the day. Some families even host their own celebration at home!
Unfortunately, as Polish culture becomes more ‘Americanized’, some kids have begun to forget about Mikołajki – believing instead that Christmas Eve is when Santa arrives with gifts.
Christmas is the most anticipated holiday throughout Poland – it’s a season full of festivities! The celebrations start at the beginning of December and last until January, making them an event filled with grandeur.
New Year’s Eve
Every December 31st is an extra special day for the Poles as they celebrate their namesake – Sylwester. Yes, that’s right! Apart from birthdays, Polish people revel in Name Days throughout the year with New Year’s Eve being no exception. Many pick to dine out while others prefer staying at home or attending huge galas and events – either way, New Year celebrates it similarly to other countries around the globe.
Poland Name Day
We’ve come to the end of our list, yet we still have one more occasion that isn’t bound by a certain month or day. Puzzling? Let’s dub it Names Day Poland! Name Days are much like birthdays where Poles commemorate each name on its own special day – the only difference is: this holiday happens every single day throughout the year as each new name has its exclusive celebration.
On Name Day in Poland, everyone with a single name celebrates together! For instance, on April 26th every Marzena is invited to commemorate her special day. That was all we had regarding Polish Holidays for a whole year.