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Polish Holidays

For centuries in Poland at various times there were a variety of holidays, both public and kept in accordance with national traditions and rituals.

Currently in Poland there are public and unofficial holidays.
The public are New Year, Easter, Labor Day, Constitution Day, Corpus Christi, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, All Saints Day, Independence Day and Christmas. Due to the fact that religion in Poland plays a special role in life among the official holidays is a significant number of religious holidays.

Undoubtedly, the most important and most popular holiday in Poland is Catholic Christmas. It is celebrated on December 25. The day before Christmas is the Eve Day. On this day people decorate the Christmas tree and prepare gifts for relatives and friends. Traditionally, on supper are prepared 12 meatless dishes, and only after midnight, when it comes the Christmas Day they start to eat the rest of the food, cooked specially for Christmas. On the night of Christmas celebrations in churches are held services, which gather many religious people. After the service family gathers for a holiday breakfast and then goes to their friend's homes.

Also, one of the significant holidays in Poland is Easter. They celebrate it on the first Sunday after the first vernal full moon. On Saturday, before the holiday, the Poles go to church, to consecrate products, among which must be at least 7 different kinds of them, mostly bread, eggs, salt, smoked meat, cheese, horseradish and confectionery. Each product has its symbolic meaning. On Sunday morning all collected on the Easter matins, after which all members of the family (this is often two and sometimes three generations) gather for a solemn breakfast. An integral tradition of Easter in Poland is painted Easter egg. This tradition has existed for many centuries and has become part of folk art.

Among the secular holidays is the Independence Day. The Poles celebrate it on November 11 in honor of the independence from the Russian Empire. From 1939 to 1989 it was not officially celebrated firstly by the occupation, and later because of the country's joining to the socialist camp. Today on this day is arranged a military parade in Warsaw, as well as celebratory speeches of the country's president and other government and public figures. In many cities are held festive events, concerts and folk festivities.

New Year's Eve in Poland is not a particularly popular holiday, but on this day, families gather at the festive table and on city’s squares to celebrate the arrival of the next year. It is not called the New Year, but a holiday of Sylvester, which is a continuation of Christmas holidays and one day of the Christmas week.

Constitution Day is celebrated on May 3, the day of adoption of the first constitution of Pzecz Pospolita in 1791, and the second in the world after the U.S. On May 1st is celebrated the Labor Day, although now it is not called so.
Among the religious festivals also plays an important role Corpus Christi (the ninth Thursday after Easter), the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15 and the Day of All Saints on November 1. Corpus Christi at the moment is almost a public holiday, although initially it was only religious. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary now coincides with the Day of the Polish Army. It is celebrated in honor of the radical change in the war with the Red Army under the command of Tukhachevsky. All Saints Day is a day of remembrance of their ancestors.

Also popular in Poland and other holidays: Children’s Day, the International Women's Day, Victory Day, Andzheyki, Mother's Day, etc.

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