Spring 2022 in Poland: 6 public holidays, time change, shopping Sundays, observances & celebrations
- March 1
Last day of the carnival, Śledzik (herring night), Ostatki (last days of carnival, Shrovetide Tuesday)
The last chance to party (typically with drinking and music) before the start of the Lent (which doesn’t mean there are no parties during the Lent in Poland, just not as many). The party / dinner is called in Polish Śledzik (little herring) – during old-fashioned Polish parties, it was a popular appetizer washed down with alcohol.
- March 2
Ash Wednesday (Środa Popielcowa, Popielec)
The first day of Lent. People go to churches where priests put ashes (made from palm branches blessed on the previous year Palm Sunday) on people’s foreheads saying ‘Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return’ (‘Z prochu powstałeś i w proch się obrócisz’). It is a tradition among the Roman Catholics in Poland to avoid meat, alcohol, sweets, and snacks on that day.
- March 8
Women’s Day (Dzień Kobiet)
The tradition of Women’s Day is not as popular as during communism time in Poland, but still, women usually get flowers or other gifts.
- March 10
Men’s Day (Dzień Mężczyzny)
In Poland, Boy’s Day and Men’s Day are celebrated – Boy’s Day (September 30) is a much more popular holiday than Men’s Day.
- March 17
St. Patrick’s Day (Dzień Świętego Patryka)
Poland also celebrates St. Patrick’s Day – people wear green, there are parades, festivals, concerts.
- March 21
Truant’s Day / Skip Day (Dzień Wagarowicza)
The first day of spring (in 2022, the first day of astronomical spring falls on March 20). The old Polish folk tradition of the first day of spring is to drown Marzanna (a straw figure of a woman symbolizing winter) in the nearest river (nowadays mostly in rural areas and by children at schools). For children, the first day of spring is a Truant’s Day / Skip Day (Dzień Wagarowicza). Some students skip classes but usually, it’s just a special fun day at school – students dress up in a funny way, schools organize competitions and games, there are no tests on this day. Click here to read more about the weather in Poland in spring.
- March 27
Time change (zmiana czasu)
On Sunday, March 27 2022 at 02:00 am clocks are turned forward 1 hour to 03:00 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 learn more about time change in Poland.
- April 1
April Fools’ Day (Prima Aprilis)
A day of pranks and jokes. Don’t trust anyone;) Including Polish media which also participates in the celebrations with lots of fabricated stories.
- April 10
Palm Sunday (Niedziela Palmowa)
It starts the Easter celebrations. There are processions around the church to commemorate the day Jesus entered Jerusalem. People bring „palms” (palmy wielkanocne) made of paper flowers, dried flowers, and twigs. Click here to learn more about Easter traditions in Poland.
- April 15
Good Friday (Wielki Piątek)
Good Friday commemorates the passion and crucifixion of Jesus. In major cities in Poland, there are processions on the streets – people carrying a huge cross and contemplating the passion of Jesus. In Poland, for many people, it’s a day of fasting – no meat, no parties, no alcohol.
- April 16
Holy Saturday (Wielka Sobota)
People bring to churches baskets (called in Polish święconka) filled with food to get a special blessing. Baskets usually include eggs as a symbol of rebirth (pisanki – boiled eggs painted in various colors and patterns), bread, salt, sausage, sometimes other food – chocolate, cake, horseradish etc. Food from święconka basket is shared the next morning during festive Easter breakfast. Click here to learn more about Easter traditions in Poland.
- April 17
Easter Day (Wielkanoc)
A public/bank holiday in Poland. Easter Sunday commemorates the resurrection of Jesus. Many people in Poland start the day with 6 am morning mass (Rezurekcja). The key event of a day – a family breakfast that starts with eating Święconka, then żurek soup (also known as white barszcz), bigos, sausage with horseradish, mazurek cake. Public institutions, stores, malls, shopping centers closed, only some smaller local convenience stores can be open and stores at gas stations. Click here to learn more about Easter traditions in Poland.
- April 18
Easter Monday (Poniedziałek Wielkanocny), “Wet Monday” (Lany Poniedziałek)
A public/bank holiday in Poland. Śmigus dyngus – an old tradition in Poland in which people use buckets (kids usually play with water guns) to soak each other with water. It’s safe to stay home on Wet Monday and avoid street water fights;) Another Easter Monday tradition is to beat legs with willow branch or Palms (the ones used for Palm Sunday). Public institutions, stores, malls, shopping centers closed, only some smaller local convenience stores can be open and stores at gas stations. Click here to learn more about Easter traditions in Poland.
- April 19
Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (1943) and the Daffodils Campaign
The major celebrations of the anniversary of the uprising in the Jewish ghetto in Nazi-occupied Warsaw are held each year at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes and POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. POLIN Museum created the Daffodils (żonkile) Campaign to commemorate the Warsaw ghetto uprising. Every year on April 19th, hundreds of volunteers hand out paper daffodils to raise awareness of the uprising and its significance (Marek Edelman, the last leader of the Uprising, before his death in 2009, used to lay daffodils at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes every anniversary). Click here to read our tips in English on visiting the POLIN Museum, and here to read about visiting the POLIN Museum with children. Click here to read more in English about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
- May 1
A public/bank 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.
- May 2
A regular working day in Poland. 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
A public/bank holiday in Poland. The May 3rd Constitution was passed in 1791 and is claimed to be the first written constitution in Europe and the second one in the world (after the American one). Usually, Constitution Day is celebrated with speeches, military parades, picnics.
- May 26
It is a day when you visit or call your mum, send her a card, flowers or other gifts. Father's Day in Poland is celebrated on June 23.
- June 1
Kids receive gifts. Schools and kindergartens host special events for kids – picnics, concerts, games, sports competitions, etc. There are many events for children organized all over Poland by the city authorities, institutions, theaters, restaurants.
- June 5
Whit Sunday / Pentecost / Zielone Świątki
A public/bank 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.
- June 16
Corpus Christi / Boże Ciało
A public/bank holiday in Poland. Stores, malls, shopping centers are closed. Only some smaller local convenience stores can be open and stores at gas stations. The Catholic church organizes in each parish huge outdoor procession (in many places in Poland traffic is stopped during the processions). The procession stops at four altars temporarily built on the streets. Girls dressed in white scatter flower petals. The altars are decorated with birch-tree twigs which can be later taken home and are kept the whole year to protect a family.
- June 21
The astronomical first day of summer
Meteorologically speaking, summer begins on June 22. The beginning of astronomical summer is also the longest day of the year. The sun will rise at 4.14 am and the sunset will start at 9 pm. Click here to read more about the weather in Poland in spring.
- June 23
St. John's Night / Wreaths (Noc Świętojańska / Wianki)
The holiday has a pagan background (a pagan name is Sobótka meaning fire). Nowadays, it is mostly the opportunity to celebrate midsummer with various festivities, including concerts, singing songs, bonfire jumping. Women wear wildflower wreaths that later are thrown into river or pond.
It's not as loudly celebrated as Mother’s Day, however, each mother makes sure that children at least hug their father;)
- June 24
End of the school year in Polish schools
The last day of the school year is celebrated with speeches, concerts, shows. Teachers get flowers. Parents of younger kids usually take a day or a few hours off to participate in the ceremonies. In 2022, the school year will resume traditionally on September 1. Click here to read our post about summer and winter school breaks in Poland.
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