Below are a few of the more highly celebrated holidays in Poland.
The Easter holiday is seen by many as the most important event in the Polish Catholic calendar. It begins on Good Friday and goes through the first Monday after Easter Sunday. There are many Polish traditions followed during the Easter celebrations. One of the most observed practices is the blessing of the Easter baskets (święnconka).
Polish Constitution Day
Polish Constitution Day marks Poland’s written constitution of May 3rd, 1791, which was the first written constitution in Europe (and the second in the world, after the United States.)
The day also celebrates Polish history, values, tradition, culture and food.
All Saints Day (Wszystkich Świętych)
All Saints Day in Poland falls on November 1st each year and is a day of remembrance. Poles visit cemeteries where family members are buried, and lay flowers and light candles in memory of their loved ones.
This Polish custom symbolizing forgiveness and unity dates back to pre-Christian times, and is still practiced in many Polish homes throughout the world. It is considered one of the most ancient and beloved of Polish traditions. The word “oplatek (oplatki – plural)“ is thought to be from the Latin oblatum, meaning holy bread. The oplatek, or Christmas wafer, is a thin wafer made of unleavened bread, usually stamped with a Christmas image.
In Poland, Christmas Eve is a day first of fasting, then of feasting. The Wigilia feast begins at the appearance of the first star. There is no red meat served but fish, usually carp, is always part of the feast. The supper, which includes many traditional dishes and desserts can sometimes last for over two hours. It is followed by an exchange of gifts.