Autumn in Poland: time change, 2 public holidays, observances, celebrations

public holidays in autumn in Poland

Trade ban Sundays in Poland in autumn 2023

In autumn 2023, there is no shopping Sunday in Poland. The next shopping Sunday will be on December 17, 2023. Click here to read our post about shopping Sundays in Poland. Read our post with the list of online stores in Poland delivering groceries to your home.

Public holidays and dates to remember in Poland in autumn 2023

  • September 1

Commemoration of the anniversary of the outbreak of World War II
September 1 marks the anniversary of the outbreak of World War II. Events commemorating the outbreak of the war are held in various Polish cities.

  • September 4

The first day of school at Polish schools
The event includes short formal ceremonies (it’s not a regular full school day so parents of smaller children may need to take a day off). The school year in Poland is divided into 2 terms: the winter term (pierwszy semestr) and the summer term (drugi semestr). While the first and last days of school are set the same for all of Poland, the winter break (ferie zimowe) times differ for each Polish province/voivodship. Read more in our post about school breaks in Poland: additional days off, winter breaks dates in Poland by voivodships.

  • September 17

World Cleanup Day 
Different locations all over Poland. Volunteers across 160+ countries will gather to clean up litter and waste. World Cleanup Day – Poland (Facebook page, including events in Poland). World Cleanup Day – global website in English.

  • September 23

The first day of autumn
The astronomical (the autumnal equinox – the sun is directly over the equator) first day of autumn in Poland in 2023 falls on September 23 and the meteorological first day of autumn on September 23. After the autumnal equinox, the days in Poland get shorter and the nights get longer until the winter solstice on December 21 – the first day of winter and the day with the fewest hours of sunlight in Poland in the whole year. Read more about the weather, changes in nature, and seasonal fruits and vegetables in Poland in September, October & November.

  • September 30

Boy’s Day (Dzień Chłopaka)
This holiday in Poland is the equivalent of Women’s Day, which is celebrated in Poland on March 8. On Boy’s Day, ladies give their loved ones (younger and older) a gift or prepare another surprise.

  • October 14

Teachers’ Day in Poland (Dzień Nauczyciela)
In Polish schools, there are no regular classes on this day. Students give teachers flowers and/or other gifts. Usually, there is an inauguration event for first-grade students (called in Polish ślubowanie) and older kids either do not go to school or have some fun activities.

  • October 29

Time change (zmiana czasu)
On Sunday night, October 29, at 03:00 am clocks are turned backward 1 hour to 02:00 am. The change to summertime in Poland takes place on the last Sunday of March. Poland switches back to regular time on the last Sunday of October. The European Union lawmakers wanted to end the twice-a-year (March and October) custom of time changes throughout the European Union, leaving member states the freedom to decide their standard time. But the coronavirus pandemic has put these plans on hold. Click here to find out more in our post about the time changes in Poland.

  • October 31

Halloween celebrations are relatively new in Poland. A few years ago, it was almost impossible to buy a pumpkin this time of year in Poland! Now pumpkin carving and pumpkin decorations are more and more popular at Polish schools and homes. In bars and restaurants in Poland, there are themed Halloween parties for adults and costume parties for kids at schools. More and more children in Poland dress up in costumes for Halloween and travel from house to house playing trick or treat (in Polish: cukierek albo psikus).

  • November 1

A public/bank holiday in Poland – All Saints’ Day (Wszystkich Świętych
It’s a Christian holiday. In Poland, it’s also called the Day of the Dead (Święto Zmarłych) and is deeply rooted in the Polish tradition – the holiday is observed by many people in Poland, regardless of their faith and beliefs. People visit cemeteries to light candles and lay flowers on the graves of their family and friends. Often they travel long distances, and in general, there is increased traffic, especially close to the biggest cemeteries. November 1 is a non-working day in Poland – schools, public institutions, most businesses, and stores are closed. Shopping on November 1: stores, malls, shopping centers are closed, and only some smaller local convenience stores can be open (eg. Żabka). You can always do basic shopping at gas stations (which are open 24/7).

  • November 11

A public/bank holiday in Poland – Independence Day (Święto Niepodległości)
The anniversary of the restoration of Poland’s independence in 1918. After 123 years (from the end of the 18th century until the end of World War I) of partitions by Austria, Russia, and Prussia Poland regained its independence. The national celebrations are usually held in Warsaw, at Piłsudski Square, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, with the participation of the President of Poland, other leaders and officials, and representatives of the Polish Armed Forces.

  • November 29

St. Andrew’s Day Eve (Andrzejki)
It was believed that the night of November 29 /November 30 was suitable for magic and single girls could see their future (and their future husbands). Nowadays, it’s an opportunity for big parties and a night for future-telling games. The classic one is to pour hot liquid wax through a keyhole into cold water. After the wax is solidified, the shape and its shadow illuminated on the wall determine your future. The fun is to interpret the shape. Another tradition is a shoe game. Participants take off one shoe, the shoes are lined one after the other from the wall of the room to the door. The owner of the shoe that reaches the door first is the first to get married;)

Read more about the weather, changes in nature, and seasonal fruits and vegetables in Poland in September, October & November.

Subscribe to our monthly newsletters in English to explore Poland and learn about Poland! Once a month you will receive a Newsletter:Explore Poland with Kids. You will find there family-friendly destinations in Poland – beautiful places in Poland worth visiting with children – from city break destinations to hiking in the mountains (lots of practical tips!); things you can’t miss in Poland in a given month; dates to remember, holidays, observances in Poland in a given month so you can mark your calendars accordingly.

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