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Archive for the 'Polish Holidays' Category

Celebrating International Children’s Day in Poland

Do you remember being a kid? The world was bigger, our imaginations seemed to cover more ground, and weekends, summer vacation, and holidays were the best thing ever!

In Poland, International Children’s Day doesn’t mean a day away from school, but it is a day of fun and enjoyment for children across the country! In this article, you’ll learn about Polish Children’s Day celebrations, the holiday’s history, and some useful vocabulary.

Let’s get started.

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1. What is International Children’s Day?

This holiday has roots in the United States, having started when a Massachusetts pastor gave a special sermon for and about children in 1857. However, International Children’s Day officially began in 1925 when the World Conference on Child Welfare declared it in Geneva, Switzerland. The holiday quickly spread from then on, and International Children’s Day in Poland was officially recognized in 1950.

Polish Children’s Day is predominantly a day for children to have zabawa (“fun”) and enjoy themselves. There’s also an emphasis on protecting children’s rights—particularly those outlined in the Konwencja o prawach dziecka (“Convention on the Rights of the Child”)—to ensure that they have a fulfilling dzieciństwo (“childhood”).

2. Children’s Day Date

A Mother and Her Young Daughter in the Grass Smiling

Each year, Poles celebrate International Children’s Day on June 1. This is when many other countries (though not all) celebrate this holiday as well.

3. How to Celebrate International Children’s Day

Two Kids Playing on a Playground

Activities for International Children’s Day vary from year to year, and there are no set traditions set in place. This is not a national holiday, meaning that children (unfortunately) still have to go to school on International Children’s Day.

Still, schools and parents do what they can to make this a radosny (“joyful”) holiday for the kids. Schools often organize special activities, usually involving sports competitions or other games such as tug-of-war. Parents may spend extra time with their children, make their child’s favorite dinner, or give their child a new zabawka (“toy”) and słodycze (“sweets”).

On International Children’s Day, Poland is also experiencing its first bout of summer. This makes Children’s Day in Poland a fantastic time to engage in outdoor activities such as picnics or outdoor games. In 2015, even then-Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz got involved, inviting several children for a picnic with her.

Another defining feature of Poland’s take on this holiday is the Parliament of Children and Youth. Each year on Children’s Day, Poland’s chosen high school students—determined by the quality of essays they write on a given topic—meet together and discuss modern topics of interest concerning the country’s youth. The parliament has gathered together each year since 1994, and Poland is the first European country to have organized such a parliament.

4. Brushing Your Teeth…?

If you have kids—or remember being one—we’re sure you know the struggle of getting a child to brush their teeth regularly.

Many Polish parents face this struggle every day, but on Children’s Day, they make a special concession for their children. Yep! Most Polish kids don’t have to brush their teeth before bed on this holiday (even after eating so many sweets…).

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Children’s Day

A Basket Full of Different Sweets

Let’s review some of the vocabulary words from this article!

  • Dziecko — “Child” [n. neut]
  • Słodycze — “Sweets” [n. neut]
  • Zabawka — “Toy” [n. fem]
  • Zabawa — “Fun” [n. fem]
  • Dzieciństwo — “Childhood” [n. neut]
  • Szczęśliwy — “Happy” [adj.]
  • Radosny — “Joyful” [adj.]
  • Bawić się — “Play” [v.]
  • Lizak — “Lollipop” [n. masc]
  • Konwencja o prawach dziecka — “Convention on the Rights of the Child” [fem]

If you want to hear the pronunciation of each word and phrase listed above, be sure to check out our Polish International Children’s Day vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about International Children’s Day in Poland with us, and that you took away some valuable information about Polish culture!

Do you celebrate Children’s Day in your country? If so, what are the most common traditions and celebrations? Let us know in the comments!

If you want to continue learning about Polish culture and the language, PolishPod101.com has several free resources for you:

This only scratches the surface of everything that PolishPod101.com has to offer the aspiring Polish-learner. To make the most of your study time, create your free lifetime account today; for access to exclusive content and lessons, upgrade to our Premium or Premium PLUS plans.

We want to help you reach your language-learning goals, and we’ll be here with you every step of the way there.

Happy International Children’s Day from the PolishPod101 family!

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Święto Pracy: Celebrating Labor Day in Poland

For Labor Day, Poland consistently gets a whopping three-day weekend to relax, celebrate, and protest for more workers’ rights. But this holiday doesn’t resonate well with everyone!

In this article, you’ll learn about Labor Day traditions and history in Poland, and pick up some useful vocabulary words along the way.

Let’s get started.

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1. What is Labor Day?

Someone Holding a Wrench in Their Hand against a Red Background

International Labor Day is a public holiday in Poland, and is also part of the Majówka (May holidays). Because May 3 is another major holiday in the country, many people take not one day off, but at least three.

In Poland, Labor Day is a day for workers to odpoczywać (“rest” ) from their normal day-to-day duties. Some people take advantage of this day to demonstrate for more employees’ rights or to simply honor the working class. Perhaps most importantly, Labor Day is associated with patriotyzm (“patriotism” ), considering that May 3 is Poland’s Constitution Day.

Despite the laid-back nature of this holiday today, there’s a lot of controversy in Poland regarding Labor Day. This is because, during the communist rule in Poland, Labor Day was largely associated with the communist agenda and was one of the most important holidays at the time.

    → Study our vocabulary list for Jobs / Work to learn some practical Labor Day words!

2. When is Labor Day?

A Man Relaxing on the Couch

Each year, Poles celebrate Labor Day on May 1. This is the same date as the rest of the world, except for the United States, which celebrates on the first Monday of September.

3. Labor Day Traditions & Celebrations in Poland

A Group of People Having a Picnic Together

On Labor Day, Poland has plenty of time to relax, because Labor Day is part of a długi weekend (“long weekend holiday” ).

During this time, cities compete with each other based on the number of attractions, organizing picnics, concerts, performances, exhibitions, fairs, tastings of regional dishes, and reconstructions of historical events. During the picnic in the Mazovia region, the region’s largest knightly tournament takes place, while at the Museum of Battle of Grunwald, people can watch an International Horseback Archery Competition.

A favorite tradition is to spędzać czas z rodziną (“spend time with family” ), often outdoors in the fresh spring air. Many families go on a picnic together (usually with BBQ food!), or sometimes a longer trip to somewhere outside their city or town. Though not as common as it once was, some places in Poland still hold Labor Day parades and demonstrations for more workers’ rights.

As we mentioned earlier, Labor Day is considered a patriotic holiday. Many people decorate their buildings or homes with the Polish flag!

    → We have vocabulary lists on Cooking and Polish Foods. Check them out to learn some related words and phrases. 😉

4. Making Up for Lost Time

This long Labor Day weekend sounds great, until you realize that one of the days (May 2) isn’t actually a holiday. How do Poles make up for losing this normal workday?

Usually, Poles need to go into work on a designated weekend day in order to make up for this lost time. But it’s well worth it for three days off in a row!

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Labor Day in Poland

Someone Wearing a Shirt with the Polish Flag Colors

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this lesson? Here’s a list of the most important words and phrases for Labor Day in Poland!

  • Odpoczywać — “Rest” [v.]
  • Święto Pracy — “Labor Day” [n. neut]
  • Flaga — “Flag” [n. fem]
  • Patriotyzm — “Patriotism” [n. masc]
  • Dzień wolny od pracy — “Day off” [n. masc]
  • Robotnik — “Worker” [n. masc]
  • Pochód — “March” [n. masc]
  • Uczcić — “Celebrate” [v.]
  • Długi weekend — “Long weekend holiday” [n. masc]
  • Majówka — “Picnic” [n. fem]
  • Spędzać czas z rodziną — “Spend time with family”
  • Protest — “Protest” [n. masc]
  • Biało-czerwony — “White-and-red” [adj.]

To hear the pronunciation of each word and phrase, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Polish Labor Day vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Labor Day in Poland with us, and that you took away some valuable information.

How do you celebrate Labor Day in your country? Are Labor Day traditions similar or very different from those in Poland? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments!

If you’re interested in learning more about Polish culture and the language, check out the following pages on PolishPod101.com:

For even more great Polish-learning content, create your free lifetime account today. To get exclusive lessons for even faster learning, you can also upgrade to our Premium or Premium PLUS plans!

Happy Labor Day! 🙂

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How to Celebrate Nicolaus Copernicus’ Birthday in Poland

How to Celebrate Nicolaus Copernicus’ Birthday in Poland

Nicolaus Copernicus. You’ve probably heard that name before in school. But do you remember who he was exactly, and what he did? What world-changing ideas was Nicolaus Copernicus famous for?

In this article, you’ll learn about Nicolaus Copernicus’ greatest achievements, more interesting facts about him, and how Poland commemorates Nicolaus Copernicus’ birthday.

Are you ready? Let’s get started.

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1. Who was Nicolaus Copernicus?

Poles celebrate the astronomer Mikołaj Kopernik ( “Nicolaus Copernicus” ) each year on his birthday. Copernicus is most well-known for his heliocentryzm ( “heliocentrism” ) theory, which revolutionized astronomy. This is the theory that the sun is at the center of our galaxy, and that the planets obracać się wokół ( or “rotate around” ) the sun. While Nicolaus Copernicus’ heliocentric model faced lots of criticism when it was first proposed, it’s today the working model we use.

Nicolaus Copernicus’ astronomy achievements—particularly the publishing of his book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium—paved the way for later advances in astronomical science. Further, it both started the Copernican Revolution and contributed to the Scientific Revolution.

While Copernicus’ heliocentric model is perhaps his greatest achievement, this is far from all he accomplished in his lifetime. In addition to being an astronom (“astronomer”), Copernicus studied several other topics during his life and served in many different professions. These include, but aren’t limited to: a physician, an economist, and a translator.

2. Nicolaus Copernicus’ Date of Birth

Picture of Nicolaus Copernicus

Each year, Poles celebrate Nicolaus Copernicus’ birthday on February 19, the day he was born in 1473.

3. How Poles Mark Copernicus’ Birthday

Silhouette of Someone Looking Through a Telescope at Night

While there are no specific traditions or celebrations for Nicolaus Copernicus’ birthday, Poles do continue to venerate and honor him. In addition to specially marking Copernicus’ birthday, Poland is filled with numerous memorials of him.

For example, the Wrocław-Strachowice International Airport is named in honor of Copernicus. There are also two museums in Poland dedicated to him: Muzeum Mikolaja Kopernika in Frombork and the House of Nicolaus Copernicus Museum in Copernicus’ birthplace of Torun. Lastly, there are also Nicolaus Copernicus statues and monuments in Warsaw and Torun.

If you’re interested in learning even more Nicolaus Copernicus facts in his very own home country, be sure to check these places out!

4. Polish or German?

Did you know there’s some debate as to Nicolaus Copernicus’ nationality?

Copernicus was born in Royal Prussia—an area that was technically a part of the Kingdom of Poland—but grew up in a German-speaking family. He first went to school in Poland before going to a school in Italy and joining a group of German-speakers there.

While these nuances of Copernicus’ life make it difficult for modern-day scholars to determine his nationality, some people are uncertain that we should assign Copernicus a nationality. During the Renaissance period, people didn’t adhere to the concept of nationality the way we do today, and rather had firm attachments to the actual region they grew up in or associated themselves with. Some people make the claim that Copernicus, for this reason, would have called himself a Prussian.

So, was Copernicus Polish? German? Prussian? Something else altogether? And does it really matter?

What are your thoughts?

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Nicolaus Copernicus’ Birthday

Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity Written on a Blackboard

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this article? Here’s the essential Polish vocabulary for Nicolaus Copernicus’ birthday!

  • Słońce — “Sun”
  • Księżyc — “Moon”
  • Ziemia — “Earth”
  • Mikołaj Kopernik — “Nicolaus Copernicus”
  • Planeta — “Planet”
  • Galaktyka — “Galaxy”
  • Teoria — “Theory”
  • Wszechświat — “Universe”
  • Astronom — “Astronomer”
  • Ciało niebieskie — “Heavenly body”
  • Obracać się wokół — “Rotate around”
  • Heliocentryzm — “Heliocentrism”
  • Obserwować — “Observe”
  • Rewolucja — “Revolution”

Visit our Polish Nicolaus Copernicus’ Birthday vocabulary list to hear the pronunciation of each word, and to read them alongside relevant images.

Final Thoughts

The Polish people hold Nicolaus Copernicus in high regard, and are proud to call him a fellow Pole (despite the ambiguity around his technical nationality). We hope you enjoyed getting reacquainted with Copernicus, and that you learned something valuable about Polish culture.

Who are the most famous and well-respected people in your country, past or present? We look forward to hearing from you!

If you’re interested in learning more about Polish culture and holidays, you may find the following pages on PolishPod101.com useful:

Know that whatever your reasons for developing an interest in Polish culture or wanting to learn the language, PolishPod101.com is the best way to expand your knowledge and improve your skills. With tons of fun lessons for beginners, intermediate learners, and more advanced students, there’s something for everyone!

Create your free lifetime account today and start learning Polish like never before.

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Święto Trzech Króli: Celebrating Epiphany in Poland

Epiphany in Poland

The Feast of the Epiphany in Poland is an essential Christian holiday with a variety of fun traditions! In this article, you’ll learn about how Poles celebrate Epiphany as well as the story behind the holiday.

At PolishPod101.com, it’s our goal to ensure that every aspect of your language-learning journey is both fun and informative—starting with this article!

Are you ready? Let’s dive in.

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1. What is Epiphany Day in Poland?

Epiphany, or Three Kings’ Day, is called Święto Trzech Króli in Polish. This is a Christian feast that takes place in numerous countries around the world. In Poland, it’s a national public holiday, meaning that most businesses, workplaces, and schools are closed.

Epiphany Day in Poland is usually celebrated as the day that the three “wise men” (mędrzec) visited the Baby Jesus. The wise men followed Gwiazda betlejemska, or “Bethlehem’s star,” and arrived with gifts of frankincense, gold (złoto), and myrrh (mirra). For this reason, Epiphany is also viewed as a day of charity and giving.

Some people also celebrate Epiphany as the day on which Jesus was baptized, thus “revealing” the Holy Trinity.

2. Epiphany Date

Wise Men on Camels

Each year, Poles celebrate Epiphany on January 6. The night before is called Epiphany Eve.

3. How is Epiphany Celebrated in Poland?

Carol

Epiphany traditions in Poland are vast! On Epiphany Day, Poland tries to make the most of the last day of the Christmas season.

On Epiphany Day in Poland, parades featuring live animals, children, and the colors of Europe (red), Asia (green), and Africa (blue), march through the streets. The most popular of these parades takes place in Warsaw, though several other Polish towns host their own parades as well. Sometimes, the people in this parade will throw candy to children and other spectators!

Another common tradition of Epiphany in Poland is nativity reenactments. During these reenactments, children dress up as the most important characters from the story of the wise men and act the story out. People also enjoy singing carols (kolędy) on this day.

For Christians, the story of the wise men is a major component in the Ewangelia, or “Gospel.” Thus, devoted Christians—especially Catholics—will go to church on this day to receive blessings from priests.

In particular, very devout Catholics will bring a piece of chalk to the church, have a priest bless it, and then use that piece of chalk to write the letters C, B, and M along with the current year on their front door. It’s debated whether these letters represent the names of the three wise men, or if they stand for Christus mansionem benedicat, which is Latin phrase asking for Christ to bless the home.

Chalk isn’t the only thing blessed on the Epiphany holiday in Poland. Because the wise men brought three gifts with them, Poles bring three other items with them, usually in boxes. These items are meant to signify the wise men’s gifts (dary) to Baby Jesus, and are usually a gold ring, some type of incense (kadzidło), and some amber.

4. King Cake

Along with a variety of breads and other sweets, a popular Epiphany dessert for the Feast of the Epiphany in Poland is King Cake. This is a special round cake also eaten in many other countries for Epiphany.

Inside the cake is a coin or almond. The person who finds it in their slice of King Cake is the “king” for the day.

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Epiphany in Poland

Incense

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words we saw in the article? Here’s the essential Polish vocabulary for Epiphany!

  • Złoto — Gold
  • Kolęda — Carol
  • Bóg — God
  • Ewangelia — Gospel
  • Betlejem — Bethlehem
  • Święto Trzech Króli — Epiphany
  • Pokłon — Obeisance
  • Kadzidło — Incense
  • Dar — Gift
  • Gwiazda betlejemska — Bethlehem’s star
  • Mirra — Myrrh
  • Mędrzec — Wise Men

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Polish Epiphany vocabulary list.

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Epiphany in Poland with us!

Do you celebrate Epiphany in your country? If so, are celebrations different or very similar to those in Poland? Let us know in the comments!

If you’re interested in learning more about Polish culture, or if you want to learn some wintery words to get you through the next couple of months, you may find the following pages useful:

Learning Polish doesn’t have to be boring or overwhelming—with PolishPod101.com, it can even be fun! If you’re serious about mastering the language, create your free lifetime account today.

Happy Polish learning! 🙂

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Barborka: Miner’s Day & Saint Barbara’s Day in Poland

Miner’s Day & Saint Barbara’s Day in Poland

On Saint Barbara’s Day, Poles celebrate faithfulness, feminine beauty, and miners. In fact, this holiday is also referred to as Miners’ Day!

In this article, you’ll learn a little bit about Saint Barbara, the patron saint of miners. You’ll also delve into the most popular Polish traditions for this holiday and learn some relevant Polish vocabulary.

At PolishPod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your language-learning journey both fun and informative. Let’s get started!

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1. What is Saint Barbara’s Day?

Saint Barbara’s Day (Barborka/Miner’s Day) is both the feast day of St. Barbara and the name day for girls with this common name. Considering Barbara’s role as the patron saint of miners, Poles also celebrate this holiday as Miners’ Day.

Saint Barbara’s popularity as a religious and cultural figure originated in a story, which today is debated as to its accuracy.

In the story, a young woman named Barbara lived in a tower, where her father locked her away. At some point, she is said to have developed a keen interest in Christianity. One day, her father came home and discovered that she had made three windows—representing the Holy Trinity—in the bath he had been building. Barbara admitted to him that she was now a Christian and, angry, her father beat her before handing her over to authorities. (Christianity was illegal where they lived at this time.) Her father sought to behead her, but he was struck down by lightning before he was able to do so.

Today, Saint Barbara is portrayed as a prime example of genuine Christian faith and as the patroness of miners.

2. When is St. Barbara’s Day?

Saint Barbara

Each year, Poland observes Saint Barbara’s Day on December 4.

3. Saint Barbara’s Day Celebrations & Traditions

A Ritual Being Performed

1- Miners

Barbara’s Day is celebrated mainly as a holiday for miners. Their work is both dangerous and rewarding, and the fruits of their labor were quite valuable in times past.

On this day, miners from the Silesia region of Poland gather together for special celebrations. These usually take the form of a ball, for which occasion the miners dress in nice black suits. To complete their celebratory outfits and further accentuate their high ranking in society, the miners wear hats with different-colored feathers in them based on rank.

The miners also take part in parades, marches, and concerts, as well as a special meeting with each other.

2- Cherry Branches

Poland hasn’t forgotten the more feminine side of this holiday, either. As Saint Barbara is considered a prime example of a faithful Christian, especially for women, on the Barbara name day, Poland has traditions that reflect this.

Perhaps the most popular is that of the cherry branch. In Poland, young women take the branch of a cherry tree into their home, place it in a pot of water somewhere near the stove, and hope that the warmth of the stove and nourishment from the water will help the cherry blossoms bud sooner.

While the specifics of this tradition vary from region to region, most people believe that if the blossoms do bud, the young woman will marry in the near future.

4. Patroness of ___?

Do you know what else Saint Barbara is the patroness of? Here’s a snapshot:

Essentially, Saint Barbara is the patron saint of many a difficult but rewarding occupation. Can you guess where her association with lightning comes in?

5. Vocabulary You Need to Know for Miners’ Day in Poland

A Mine

Here’s some essential Polish vocabulary to learn before Barbara’s Day!

  • Górnik — Miner
  • Śląsk — Silesia
  • Kopalnia — Mine
  • WęgielCoal
  • Wydobywać — Extract
  • Patronka — Patroness
  • Święta Barbara — Saint Barbara
  • Patronować — Patronize
  • Rytuał — Ritual
  • Orkiestra — Orchestra

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Polish Barbara’s Day vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

What are your thoughts on St. Barbara’s Day in Poland? Are there any traditions here that remind you of holiday traditions in your own country? Let us know in the comments; we always love hearing from you!

This holiday doesn’t even scratch the surface of Polish culture. If you’re interested in learning more about Poland and her people, or want to memorize more fun words for winter, you may find the following pages on PolishPod101.com useful:

We hope you enjoyed this lesson and learned something new! Learning Polish doesn’t have to be a boring or overwhelming process—with PolishPod101, it can even be fun!

If you’re serious about mastering Polish, create your free lifetime account today and learn Polish like never before.

Happy learning! 🙂

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Polish National Independence Day: Traditions & History

There’s no need to convince anyone that Poland has had a colorful history. For more than a thousand years, from its legendary beginnings to the most recent events, the fate of our country has been very diverse. There were times when Poland, united in a union with Lithuania, was a power that other countries had to reckon with. But, let’s be honest, that was a very long time ago. Newer history has been much less gracious to Poland, and as a result, the country ceased to exist for over 120 years!

In this article, you’ll learn some Polish Independence Day history, and how Poles today celebrate! At PolishPod101.com, we aim to make every aspect of your language-learning journey both fun and informative!

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1. What is Polish Independence Day?

1- The Regaining of Independence

From 1772 on, Poland fell victim to attacks from three countries—Russia, Prussia and Austria—which resulted in three partitions of Poland. The end result was the seizure of all Polish lands and the disappearance of Poland from the map of Europe for 123 years. Thanks to steadfastness, patriotism, and a never-ending battle, the Poles finally regained their independence, with the great contribution of Marshal Józef Piłsudski.

Regaining its independence at the beginning of the twentieth century after such a long time was a really big event; after all, all the people who remembered Poland from before servitude times were long dead. You must be thinking that in such circumstances, the Independence Regaining Holiday must be the most joyous day of the year for Polish? Nothing of the sort.

While the regaining of independence in itself is joyous, Poles can never forget all the lives that were lost in their fight for it.

2- Holiday History

Though Polish Independence Day was officially established in 1937, it was only celebrated twice before the outbreak of WWII.

From 1939 to 1944, during the war and Nazi occupation, everything that was Polish was destroyed, and any displays of Polish culture were also forbidden. Likewise, in the following years, when Poland was under the control of the USSR, all patriotic demonstrations were suppressed. Finally, after the fall of communism, this holiday was restored in 1989 and is celebrated to this day.

2. When is Independence Day in Poland?

White and Red Flag

Each year, Poland celebrates its independence on November 11. While the regaining of Poland’s independence obviously took much longer a day, Józef Pilsudski chose this date as the day of celebration.

3. Polish Independence Day Celebrations

People Celebrating

For Polish Independence Day, Warsaw has some of the biggest celebrations, mostly on Pilsudski Square and by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where a ceremonial changing of the guard always takes place. On Polish Independence Day, November 11, Polish flags are hung up everywhere; on buildings, and on special flag poles.

In Warsaw and other major cities, marches, parades, and political speeches are organized. For those who are not interested in lofty speeches or assemblies, other events are also organized, which aim at uniting Poles.

One of the most interesting Polish Independence Day traditions is the Warsaw Independence Run, which in 2012 registered a record number of participants, over 7,000. Each participant receives a medal and a certificate to say they completed the race. At the start, all the runners make the formation of a living Polish flag, which is an amazing sight.

4. Curl the Mustache?

What does the Warsaw marathon code phrase “Run straight, curl the mustache,” mean?

This is a playful form of respect and affection for Polish history, in which Józef Pilsudski played a big part, greatly contributing to Polish’s victory in restoring its independence, among other things. Marathon participants, who follow in Pilsudski’s footsteps by growing or sticking on a fake distinctive mustache, get a chance to win great prizes.

5. Essential Vocabulary for Polish Independence Day

An Emblem

Here’s some vocabulary you need to know for Independence Day in Poland!

  • I Wojna Światowa — World War I
  • Odzyskać niepodległość — Regain independence
  • Uroczyste obchody — Celebration
  • HymnAnthem
  • Godło — Emblem
  • Okupacja — Occupation
  • Suwerenność — Sovereignty
  • Rozbiór — Partition
  • Zabór — Annexation
  • Państwo — State
  • Stolica — Capital

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to visit our Polish Independence Day vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Polish Independence Day with us. Did you learn any new Polish Independence Day facts? How does your country celebrate its Independence Day? We look forward to hearing from you!

Learning about a country’s culture and history may be the most rewarding and enriching aspect of trying to master its language. If more Polish cultural information is what you’re after, you may find the following pages interesting:

We know that learning a new language is a monumental task, but you can do it! And PolishPod101.com will be here with constant support and tons of essential learning materials, every step of the way. Create a free lifetime account today, and learn Polish effectively!

Happy Polish Independence Day!

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Warsaw Uprising Day: Remembering the Warsaw Uprising

Warsaw-Uprising-Day

The Warsaw Uprising of 1944 is known to be one of the largest, most ambitious attempts at conquering the Germans during WWII, and each year Poles remember those who lost their lives as well as the overall bravery of those involved. This is one of the most significant remembrance days in Poland, and one that you’ll do well to learn about as you seek to master the Polish language and understand its culture.

At PolishPod101.com, we hope to make this learning journey both fun and informative!

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1. What is Warsaw Uprising Day?

Polish Underground State Symbol

On Warsaw Uprising Day, Poland remembers the Warsaw Uprising and those who lost their lives as part of the resistance against the Germans who occupied Warsaw. But what was the Warsaw Uprising, exactly?

1- The Warsaw Uprising 1944

The Polish Underground State organized this movement in 1944 during WWII, and it lasted for about two months before ultimately failing. Essentially, the Polish Underground State started the Warsaw Uprising to resist the German occupation of their land, which composed the majority of Poland.

The Polish Warsaw Uprising was part of the larger operation against Nazis, called Operation Tempest. It was one of the most ambitious attempts in Poland, or the world, to rise against the Nazis and German occupation during WWII.

However, despite temporary victories with the help of the Russian Army at Vilnyus, Lublin, and Lvov, they faced far less favorable circumstances once in Warsaw. In short:

  • The Polish troops were outnumbered (as Warsaw had become a German fortress city)
  • The German troops had much more advanced weaponry (such as tanks)
  • The Russian troops who had helped previously didn’t arrive on time to Warsaw
  • Aside from the Russians, Poland had no real support from other countries

As August wore on, the Poles and Germans found themselves at a stalemate. When Russian troops still hadn’t arrived by September, the two sides decided to begin negotiation talks, which ended upon word of the Russians being near. Negotiations started and ended a few times until October 2, when an agreement was signed, promising humane treatment of the Poles in German-occupied territory.

Despite the overall failure of the Polish to overcome the Germans in Warsaw, no one can question their bravery, courage, or determination to help their country.

2. When is Warsaw Uprising Day?

Clock Pointing to Midnight

Each year on August 1 (the Warsaw Uprising date), the Polish commemorate the Warsaw Uprising.

3. How Do Poles Commemorate Warsaw Uprising Day?

Polish Army Marching

Seeing as Warsaw Uprising Day is a relatively new holiday, established in 2010, there are no set-in-stone traditions or celebrations. This is considered a memorial day, so many Poles reflect on the Uprising, those who lost their lives, and the bravery it all entails on the part of their countrymen.

4. The Warsaw Uprising Museum

Sixty years following the Uprising (2004), Poland built the Warsaw Uprising Museum in Warsaw (though in 1983, it was actually established). Its founders and sponsors aim to provide the people of Poland, and of the world, with a big-picture view of the Warsaw Uprising, most especially the Poles involved in it.

At the Warsaw Uprising Museum, Poland visitors can find many artifacts and other bits of preserved history associated with the Uprising.

5. Important Vocabulary for Warsaw Uprising Day

Person Stretching Out Arms to Sun

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Warsaw Uprising Day in Poland!

  • Walczyć — Fight
  • Alarm — Alarm
  • Wystąpienie zbrojne — Occurrence of an armed attack
  • Armia KrajowaHome Army
  • Polskie Państwo Podziemne — Polish underground state
  • Ewakuacja — Evacuation
  • Godzina policyjna — Curfew
  • Siły polskie — Polish forces
  • Zdobyć — Conquer
  • Bohaterstwo — Heroism

To hear each of these Warsaw Uprising Day vocabulary words pronounced, check out our relevant vocabulary list.

Conclusion: How PolishPod101 Can Help You Master Polish

We hope you enjoyed learning about Warsaw Uprising Day with us, and that you gained some valuable insight into Polish history. What are your thoughts on this holiday, and the event behind it? Let us know in the comments!

To continue learning more about Polish culture and society, visit us at PolishPod101.com and explore our array of practical learning tools. Read more insightful blog posts like this one, study up with our free Polish vocabulary lists, and download our mobile apps designed to help you learn Polish no matter where you find yourself! By upgrading to Premium Plus, you can also take advantage of our MyTeacher program, and begin learning Polish with your own teacher and personalized plan!

Learning any new language is a challenge, and Polish is no exception. But you’re already in the right place, doing the right thing—and with enough determination, you can master Polish! PolishPod101.com will be here with you each step of your way there.

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Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warsaw_Uprising

The Warsaw Uprising of 1944


https://anydayguide.com/calendar/1497
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warsaw_Uprising_Museum

Smigus Dyngus Day: Easter Monday in Poland

The time has come to talk about Poland’s second most popular holiday: Easter. Easter Monday in Poland is not only a religious celebration, but a secular holiday enjoyed by the whole population! The Monday after Easter, called Easter Monday (or Smigus Dyngus Day in Poland), is full of Polish culture for you to discover with us.

At PolishPod101.com, we hope to make learning about Poland and the Polish language both fun and informative! And trust us: in Poland, Wet Monday is certainly fun!

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1. What is Easter Monday in Poland?

On Wet Monday, Poland enjoys both a religious holiday and a day of fun!

The Easter Monday holiday in Poland is a family celebration; it is a joyful and colorful time of year, when people in Poland look forward to the upcoming spring. Further, it’s a time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus; for those who are less religious, it’s a time to meet with their family, eat Easter breakfast together, have fun decorating eggs, and prepare special dishes.

2. When is Easter Monday?

Holy Water and Cross

The date of Easter Monday in Poland varies each year. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

  • 2019: April 22
  • 2020: April 13
  • 2021: April 5
  • 2022: April 18
  • 2023: April 10
  • 2024: April 1
  • 2025: April 21
  • 2026: April 6
  • 2027: March 29
  • 2028: April 17

3. Reading Practice: How is Easter Celebrated in Poland?

People Having a Water Fight

What do Easter Monday Polish traditions look like? Read the Polish text below to find out, and learn why it’s often called Wet Monday (and find the English translation directly below it).

Jedną z wielu tradycji jest przygotowanie święconki, czyli koszyczka, zwykle wiklinowego, z chlebem, jajkami, kiełbasą i chrzanem czy musztardą, przyozdobionego wiosennymi kwiatami i bukszpanem. Taki oto koszyczek niesiemy, w przeddzień Wielkanocy, do kościoła, gdzie zostaje on poświęcony przez księdza. W Niedzielę Wielkanocną zanim zasiądziemy do świątecznego śniadania wszyscy domownicy dzielą się święconką, życząc sobie szczęścia i pomyślności.

Czymś, co ściśle wiąże się z Wielkanocą, są pisanki. W Polsce istnieje wiele tradycyjnych metod ozdabiania czy też farbowania jajek, które przetrwały do dziś. Pisanki to dokładnie jajka, na których rysuje się wzory za pomocą rozgrzanego wosku i następnie zanurza w barwnikach. Kraszanki natomiast, to jajka gotowane w roślinnych wywarach. Niegdyś Kościół zabraniał spożywania jajek w Wielkanoc, jako, że było ono pogańskim symbolem nowego życia.

Tym, czego nie może zabraknąc na wielkanocnym stole, poza pisankami, są wszelkiego rodzaju potrawy wykorzystujące jajka, żurek, biała kiełbasa, pasztet, najlepiej jeśli domowej roboty, oraz pascha, mazurek i babka. Sam stół jest zawsze przyozdobiony zajączkami, kurczaczkami, baziami, narcyzami, tulipanami i innymi wiosennymi kwiatami.

W Polsce kolorowe jajka nie służą tylko do ozdoby, ale również do zabawy. Prawdopodobnie najpopularniejsza gra polega na stuknięciu jednym z końców jajka o koniec jajka przeciwnika. Ten, którego jajko nie pęknie jest zwycięzcą i zabiera jajko przegranego. Walka trwa aż oba końce jajka pękną. Każde wygrane jajko należy zjeść na szczęście.

One of the many traditions is to prepare the swieconka, which is a basket usually made of wicker, filled with bread, eggs, sausage, and horseradish or mustard, and decorated with spring flowers and boxwood. On the day before Easter, we carry these baskets to the church, where they are blessed by the priest. On Easter Sunday, before we sit down to a festive breakfast, all household members share the blessed food and wish each other happiness and prosperity.

One thing that is closely associated with Easter is pisanki (“Easter eggs”). In Poland, many traditional methods of decorating and dyeing eggs have survived to this day. Pisanki are eggs that have patterns drawn on them with molten wax and are then immersed in dye. Kraszanki, on the other hand, are eggs that are boiled in a dye made from plants. In the past, the Church forbade the eating of eggs during Easter, as they were a pagan symbol of a new life.

One thing that can’t be missing from the Easter table, besides Easter eggs, are a few different kinds of dishes, which include eggs, sour rye soup, white sausage, pate (which is best if homemade), as well as pascha, mazurek and babka (which are both cakes). The table itself is always decorated with bunnies, chicks, catkins, narcissus, tulips, and other spring flowers.

In Poland, colored eggs are not just used for decoration, but also in games. Probably the most popular game is to tap one end of your egg against the end of an egg belonging to the opponent. The person whose egg does not break is the winner and takes the egg of the loser. The fight continues until both ends of the egg break. Each egg that has been won needs to be eaten for good luck.

4. Additional Information: Onion Skins

What is the most popular, traditional way of coloring eggs for Easter these days?

The most popular natural dye that eggs are boiled in to achieve the desired color, is one made of onion skin, which usually needs to be collected a long time before Easter. This dye gives the egg shells a beautiful golden-brown color.

5. Must-know Vocab

One Child Chasing Another

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Easter Monday in Poland!

  • Śmigus-dyngus — Wet Monday
  • Lany Poniedziałek — Wet Monday
  • Oblewać wodą — Throw water
  • Psikus — Prank
  • Pistolet na wodę — Water gun
  • Uciekać — Run away
  • Woda święconaHoly water
  • Mokry — Wet
  • Zabawa — Fun
  • Zwyczaj — Custom
  • Czaić się — Lurk

To hear each word pronounced, check out our Polish Easter Monday vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

What do you think about Wet Monday in Poland? Does your country have similar (or different) Easter celebrations? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about Polish culture and the language, visit us at PolishPod101.com. We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and an online community where you can discuss lessons with fellow Polish learners. By creating a Premium Plus account, you can also take advantage of our MyTeacher program, and learn Polish one-on-one with your own personal Polish teacher!

With enough hard work and determination, know that your Polish skills will improve tremendously. And PolishPod101.com will be here with you every step of the way!

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International Women’s Day in Poland: Happy Women’s Day!

In Poland, Women’s Day began to be celebrated on a large scale until after the Second World War. It has been skilfully used by the socialist governments to promote the image of a woman, as the leading lady of work, who through effort and dedication supports her country.

In those years, it was a mandatory day of celebration in workplaces and schools. Women would receive carnations and other products that were generally difficult to find back then, such as tights, towels, or coffee.

As you can see, International Women’s Day is an important holiday steeped in the country’s culture. Learn even more about this holiday with PolishPod101.com!

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1. What is International Women’s Day in Poland?

Taking place on 8 March, Women’s Day in Poland is essentially a day to celebrate and honor women for their achievements. International Women’s Day in Poland is both a day of gift-giving and of prompting greater respect for women in general, and is a holiday taken fairly seriously in Poland.

In Poland, International Women’s Day has historical and social implications that make it a widely observed holiday. Learn more about Women’s Day in Poland below.

2. When is it?

Woman Sitting at Table

Each year in Poland, International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8.

3. How is International Women’s Day Celebrated in Poland?

Variety of Chocolates

Read the Polish text below to find out how Women’s Day in Poland is celebrated. You can find the English translation directly below it.

—–
Tradycja obdarowywania kobiet drobnymi upominkami czy kwiatami zachowała się do dziś. Obecnie najpopularniejszym prezentem jest tulipan. Kiedy kobiety spotykają mężczyzn w ten dzień, niezależnie od tego czy jest to szef, współpracownik, kolega czy tata, zwykle mogą liczyć na symbolicznego tulipana. Jest to bardzo miły gest, nie praktykowany jednak przez wszystkich. Niektórzy uważają bowiem Dzień Kobiet za socjalistyczny przeżytek i nie obchodzą go.

W miastach co roku organizowane są specjalne imprezy z myślą o kobietach. Można więc spędzić ten dzień trochę inaczej niż zwykle i wybrać się na jeden z licznych koncertów czy spektakli wystawianych tylko dzień 8 marca. Wiele centrów handlowych organizuje warsztaty, przeróżne pokazy, np. makijażu, kąciki z poradami od stylistów czy ekspertów w dziedzinach zdrowia i urody, królują również konkursy i szansy na wygranie bonów towarowych.

Często w większych miastach można spotkać młodych mężczyzn z naręczami tulipanów wręczajacych je nieznajomym kobietom na ulicach. Nierzadko takie akcje organizowane są również przez telewizje lub stacje radiowe.

—–

The tradition of giving women little gifts or flowers has survived to this day. Today, the most popular gift is the tulip. When women meet men on this day, regardless of whether it is their boss, colleague, friend, or father, they can usually count on receiving a symbolic tulip. It is a very nice gesture, but not practiced by all. Some people think that Women’s Day is a socialist hangover so they do not celebrate it.

Each year, in the cities, special events are organized with women in mind. So you can spend this day a little differently than usual and go to one of the many concerts or performances held only on March 8. Many shopping centers organize workshops and a variety of shows, such as make-up shows, booths with tips from stylists, or advice from experts in the fields of health and beauty. There are also plenty of contests and chances to win shopping vouchers.

Often in larger cities, you can find young men with bunches of tulips, handing them out to women on the streets. It’s fairly common for these events to be organized by television or radio stations as well.

4. Additional Information

Women’s Day was a public holiday in Poland during the Polish People’s Republic (PRL), but since 1993 it has not been. However, this doesn’t change the fact that this is an opportunity to spend the day a little differently than usual.

5. Must-know Vocab

Woman Speaking Through Airhorn

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for International Women’s Day in Poland!

  • Dzień Kobiet — Women’s Day
  • Matka — Mother
  • CzekoladaChocolate
  • Kobieta — Woman
  • Bukiet kwiatów — Bouquet
  • Tulipan — Tulip
  • Prawo — Right
  • Dziewczyna — Girlfriend
  • Dawać — Give
  • Szacunek — Respect
  • Równouprawnienie kobietWomen’s empowerment

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, visit our Polish International Women’s Day vocabulary page. Here you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed learning about Polish International Women’s Day with us. Does your country celebrate International Women’s Day or another holiday celebrating and respecting women? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about Polish culture and the language, visit us at PolishPod101.com! We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and an online community to discuss lessons with fellow Polish learners. You can also check out our MyTeacher program if you’re interested in a one-on-one learning experience with your own personal Polish teacher.

Until next time, we wish you success as you continue in your studies. Know this: Your hard work and practice will pay off big and you’ll be speaking Polish like a native before you know it!

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Tłusty Czwartek in Poland: How to Celebrate Polish Donut Day

It really is fascinating how a single holiday celebrated across different countries can vary so much, and how a country’s culture influences these nuances. For instance, Fat Thursday (or Tłusty Czwartek) could also be called Polish Donut Day in Poland while in Greece it’s more of a meat fest. Polish Americans often celebrate the day on Tuesday instead of Thursday though.

At PolishPod101.com, our goal is to help you grasp the Polish culture and master its language all while having fun. In this article, we’ll be going over Fat Thursday’s Polish history as well as
what Fat Thursday Polish traditions look like. By learning about this holiday, you’ll be getting a better understanding of Poland and its customs, thus enabling you to more effectively learn the language.

Let’s get started!

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1. What is Fat Thursday in Poland?

In Poland, Fat Thursday is not a national holiday, but that doesn’t prevent people from celebrating, and once again they do so with food! If you were to give this day another name, it would be Donut Day, or dzień pączka.

Fat Thursday is the Thursday before Lent, which a period of fasting and abstinence. It’s a common habit in many countries to hold gluttonous and entertaining holidays before Lent like this, and in Poland this means eating Polish donuts and other sweets until you’re stuffed! (Best to get your fill while you can!)

2. When is Fat Thursday?

This is a Moveable Feast

The date of Fat Thursday varies by year, and is considered a “moveable feast,” as it depends on the dates of Easter and Lent. Fat Thursday takes place the Thursday before Lent begins. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years:

  • 2019: February 28
  • 2020: February 20
  • 2021: February 11
  • 2022: February 24
  • 2023: February 16
  • 2024: February 8
  • 2025: February 27
  • 2026: February 12
  • 2027: February 4
  • 2028: February 17

3. How is Poland’s Fat Thursday Celebrated?

Eating Lots of Pastries

In short: Donuts, donuts, and more Polish donuts!

Fat Thursday ends the Carnival or karnawał—a time when masquerade balls take place in Poland, for both adults and children. This is the last day before Easter that people can take the liberty of stuffing themselves. Immediately after Fat Thursday, Lent begins.

As you may have guessed, Fat Thursday is a day of gluttony, or obżarstwo, but not just any kind of gluttony! This day is defined by donuts, called pączki. Donuts are made in cake shops in much, much greater amounts than usual. Supermarket shelves bend under the weight of different types of donuts, of which the Polish version don’t have holes in the middle. The most common type of donut is covered with icing sugar and has a strawberry or rose jam filling.

Besides eating them, Polish people also like to give them to other people. For example, the boss at work usually buys donuts for his or her employees, while the employees buy donuts for their colleagues. If you’re going to meet your friends on this day, buy a donut for everyone, because you’ll surely be getting one somewhere along the way!

4. Reading Practice: Polish Donuts

When we said “gluttony” earlier, we weren’t kidding. Read the Polish text below to find out how many donuts are consumed in Poland on Fat Thursday, and about the unique Polish pastry called angel wings (you can find the English translation just below it).

—–
Drugim bardzo popularnym elementem, tym razem domowej roboty, są faworki. Jest to jedyny dzień w roku, kiedy smażymy faworki, bo wymagają dużo pracy, a zjada się je w mgnieniu oka!

W Polsce uważamy, że każdy, ale to każdy, bez wyjątku musi zjeść przynajmniej jednego pączka. Statystyki mówią, że w Tłusty Czwartek zjadamy ponad 10 milionów pączków, co daje nam średnio 2,5 pączka na osobę.

—–

Another very popular element—homemade this time—are angel wings. This is the only day of the year that we make angel wings because they require a lot of work, and we eat them in the blink of an eye!

We believe in Poland that everyone, literally everyone, without exception, must eat at least one donut. Statistics show that we eat more than ten million donuts on Fat Thursday, which averages out to 2.5 donuts per person.

5. Must-know Vocab for Tłusty Czwartek

Upcoming Lent Holiday

In order to celebrate Fat Thursday in Poland, there’s some basic vocabulary you should know. Be sure to study this list as much as you need to!

  • Tłusty Czwartek — Fat Thursday
  • cukiernia — confectionary store
  • cukier puder — castor sugar
  • faworki — Angel wings
  • lukier — icing
  • objadać się — stuff oneself
  • pączek — doughnut
  • pączek z dżemem różanym — doughnut with rose jam
  • święto ruchome — moveable feast
  • smażyć na głębokim tłuszczu — deep fry
  • kaloria — calorie
  • Wielki Post — Lent
  • smakołyk — goody

To hear the pronunciation of each word, check out our Polish Fat Thursday vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

Now that you know more about how people in Poland celebrate Fat Thursday, let us know what you think about this holiday. Is there a similar holiday in your own country?

To learn more about Polish culture and the language, visit us at PolishPod101.com. We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and an online community where you can discuss lessons with fellow Polish learners. You can even download our MyTeacher app for a one-on-one learning experience with your own personal Polish teacher.

We hope you enjoyed learning about Fat Thursday. Continue brushing up on your vocabulary and stay tuned for more Polish holiday articles. You’ll be a master at the Polish language before you know it! (And treat yourself to a doughnut or two to celebrate!)

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