Monday, May 22, 2017
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Civic Celebrations

International Children's Day - June 1st

When I was a child I really liked this feast, since this was my feast! I always thought that the International Children's Day, in Polish: Miedzynarodowy Dzien Dziecka which we celebrated in Poland - is really international. Later I realized that this feast is almost unknown outside of the communistic block, in spite of the fact that it did not become really politicized (in spite of the initial efforts). I also thought that this day was introduced by the United Nations - since it was always called "international" - but in reality the United Nations proclaimed not the June but the November 20th as the Universal Children's Day - by the resolution of the national assembly in 1954. November 20th - is devoted to promoting the welfare of the children of the world.

The stamps below are from 1951 when the communistic government was trying to policize the International Children's Day


The text on the sign with the pictures of communists in the center:
Youth! Together we will strengthen the peace

The text's translation:
Pioneer love the Peoples' Poland

Read more: International Children's Day - June 1st


May 1st, 2nd and 3rd in Polish Calendar

For about 10-15 years these days constitute a long weekend for Poles. This became something like a long Mayday weekend in Poland.

We will start with Mar the 3rd, in the reverse order

Read more: May 1st, 2nd and 3rd in Polish Calendar


Valentine's Day and Women's Day in Poland

ValentineValentine's Day (in Polish: Walentynki) has not been celebrated in Poland until very recently. Only after the collapse of the Eastern European Block and the consequent opening of Poland's borders this well known, especially in English-language cultures holiday entered Polish society. Romantic Poles were very quick in adopting Valentines Day and nowadays it as popular in Poland as anywhere else.

As a result, men in Poland are now "burdened" with two occasions to adore their ladies with gifts and flowers, as the old custom of Women's Day (Dzien Kobiet) is still very popular as it used to be in the communist times. It is celebrated on March the 8th of each year. Women's Day is the old Polish version of the Valentine's Day with the one difference that all women are on the receiving side while all men are on the giving side. While the Valentine's Day is more privately celebrated between the lovers, the Women's Day is celebrated more as a national holiday for all women, whether they are 8, or 80 years old. At that day all women in Poland receive special attention (usually in the form of flowers) not only privately, but also at schools and at work (hospitals, offices, etc.). In addition to flowers, they sometimes receive greeting cards, which are not that popular in Poland as they are in North America.

Read more: Valentine's Day and Women's Day in Poland


Birthday and Namesday Celebration in Poland

For Poles the namesdays are the days of their patrons, are usually more important than the birthdays. In Polish: "imieniny" meaning "namesday" or "name day", orginate from "imie" = name. Many namesdays are related to old Polish traditions or seasons of the year. for instance - the beginning of the year is related to Mieszko, the end of the year to Sylwester, the shortest day during the year to St. John or the Miner's Day to St.Barbara - miners' patron. Read more about it in the next part of this article. Besides, the celebration of the namesday (name day) does not reveal the age and everybody can easily figure out when is his friend's birthday just by checking the calendar.

Read more: Birthday and Namesday Celebration in Poland


Birthdays and Namesdays: Ceremonies and Food

Read the first part of the article: Birthdays and Namesdays celebrations in Poland - with lots of information about selected namesdays and their patrons. Read also about The most Common Baby names in Poland .

Namesdays (imieniny) are more important than the birthdays (urodziny) in Poland. Namesdays are related to the feasts of the saints but since not every popular first name has its saint, therefore Polish calendar had to be modified to include  popular names with no saints related to them. For instance female names: Iwona (Yvonne) or Grazyna became popular during the last 50-100 years but there is no any saint figure or patron to these names.

Read more: Birthdays and Namesdays: Ceremonies and Food


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