What’s on in Poland in May: weather, changes in nature, holidays, celebrations, new lockdown regulations
May in Poland is usually warm and reasonably dry. Sunny weather can event turn hot. The average monthly temperature in May in Poland is 13,7°C / 56,7°F, and the average monthly rainfall level is 62,1 mm.
The name of the month (maj) comes from the Latin name Maius. May and March are the only months whose Polish names derive from Latin. Polish names of the remaining months have Slavic roots.
Lilac (bez) is a queen among spring flowers that bloom in May in Poland. In Poland, the most common are purple and white lilacs. It smells awesome but unfortunately, it is very fragile and withers quickly in the home vase. Lilac came to Poland from Turkey through the Balkan Peninsula. For years, an essential part of Polish rural gardens. Blooming usually lasts only up to two weeks so hurry to admire lilac!
Poland in May turns into an orchard full of blooming fruit trees. It’s the time when fruit trees are in fool bloom. Wonderful sakura cherries receive special admiration in Japan, they are the symbol of Japan. In Poland, in the spring, pear, apple, cherry, plum trees bloom. Apple trees, however, dominate in Poland, with their white, slightly pinkish flowers. May also means the start of a busy season for bees!
You can’t miss pinkish-white cone-shaped flowers of chestnuts (kasztan / kasztanowiec) that have become a symbol of high-school final exams in Poland that take place in May (this year exceptionally in June).
In Poland, chestnuts grow mainly in parks and along roads. It is a huge tree – in Poland, the largest chestnut trees reach about 30 m in height and about 600 cm in the circumference of the trunk. The oldest chestnut in Poland grows in the Wielkopolskie Province and is over 200 years old!
In May 2020, all Sundays are trade ban Sundays. The next shopping Sunday in Poland is June 28, 2020. Click here to read our post about shopping Sundays in Poland in 2020. Read our post with the list of online stores in Poland delivering groceries to home.
- May 1
Bank/public holiday in Poland. Stores are closed. Only some smaller local convenience stores can be open. Stores at gas stations are open every day, 24 h. Usually, in Warsaw and other major cities in Poland, there are political marches to promote workers rights, however, this year due to the COVID-19 lockdown in Poland, all events are prohibited.
- May 2
Working day (Saturday in 2020). Stores are open. It’s a relatively new holiday in Poland (introduced in 2004). You can notice Polish flags in some private windows and balconies as well as displayed in public institutions buildings.
- May 3
Bank/public holiday in Poland. The May 3rd Constitution was passed in 1791 and is claimed to be the first written constitution in Europe and second one in the world (after the American one). Usually, the Constitution Day is celebrated with speeches, military parades, picnics, however, this year due to the COVID-19 lockdown in Poland, all events are prohibited.
- May 26
It is a day when you call your mum, send her a card, flowers or other gifts. Father’s Day in Poland is celebrated on June 23.
- May 31
Whit Sunday / Pentecost / Zielone Świątki
Bank/public holiday in Poland (always on Sunday anyway). The Day of Descent of the Holy Spirit – Zielone Świątki (Green Holidays). In Poland, some people decorate their homes with branches with green leaves.
Reopening from May 13:
- Restaurants, bars, cafes, food courts in shopping centers.
- Hairdressing salons.
- Beauty salons.
Schools, kindergartens, nurseries, universities
- Reopening (from May 25) of primary schools (szkoła podstawowa) for children of grades 1-3. Care will be provided for children whose parents decide for their children to go to school (in Polish: świetlica). Depending on the situation in a given school, the headmaster will decide whether the particular school will continue online education or will go back to regular classes at school.
- Schools and universities remain closed at least until May 24.
- Nurseries and kindergartens may be opened from May 6.
Border control and closure of Polish borders for foreigners extended to June 12
Closure of borders. The list of people who can enter Poland includes:
- Polish citizens
- Foreigners who are spouses of Polish nationals
- Foreigners who are children of Polish nationals
- Holders of a Pole’s Card (Karta Polaka)
- Diplomats and their families
- Foreigners who hold the right to permanent or temporary stay in Poland
- Foreigners who have a valid work permit
- In particularly justified cases, the province/voivodship governor (wojewoda) may grant a foreigner permission to enter Poland.
Changes in COVID restrictions in Poland from May 4
Hotels are opened
- Hotels are opened.
- Shopping centers and construction stores are opened.
- Sports facilities are opened.
- The ban on libraries and museums is lifted.
- The ban on medical rehabilitation is lifted.
Suspension of air transport in Poland
- International and domestic passenger air transport remains suspended until May 23.
- All LOT Polish Airlines passenger flights (domestic and international) scheduled until May 31 inclusive are canceled.
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