While Polish temperatures are rising and we are leaving winter behind, May is approaching,
and with it the time called "Majówka". These are the first three days of May that are free from
work and school. Despite its historical nature, today we celebrate it differently than our
On the first day of May, the International Workers' Day is celebrated around the world. It is to
commemorate the anniversary of the brutally suppressed workers' strike in Chicago in 1886.
In Poland, this day is known as Labour Day. In the 1980s, the first of May was the day when
the parades and demonstrations were organized to oppose the communist regime. It was
one of the most important holidays of the People's Republic of Poland. Today, it is usually
treated as a day off, which can be spent on a rest with family and friends.
In Poland, the 2nd of May is the Flag Day of the Republic of Poland. It has been celebrated
since 2003, and the choice of this date was strongly dependent on the national holidays that
surround this day. The Polish flag is ubiquitous throughout the whole Majówka. For instance,
in Bytom in 2009, over 500 people gathered and created a white and red flag by opening up
Moreover, this day is not a legal holiday, so everyone is supposed be working, but Poles
tend to take this day off, because it is the only date occurring between two non-working
A day after comes the National Day of the Third May Constitution, which also coincides with
the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Poland. The Constitution of May the 3rd is the
first in Europe and the second written constitution in the world, thanks to which we have for
example, the universal right to independence or the tripartite national system.
The festival has been many times banned or forbidden to celebrate, but since 1981 it has
been held annually. Every year at the beginning of May you can observe numerous
celebrations throughout Poland. Devotions, civil assemblies, military shows and festivities
are one of the many attractions visible in Polish cities. For people who value physical
activity, there are also organised Constitutional Marathons. Last year over 40 of them took
place in Poland.
Nowadays, the historical nature of these holidays is slowly becoming a thing of the past.
Majówka becomes a chance to recreate with relatives and rest from people’s everyday life.
Entities offering recreational services are eager to take this opportunity and come out with
many interesting events, not necessarily of patriotic nature, which are very attractive to
people. Among Polish youth and students, it is common to go camping, hiking or just spend
some time over a lake or a pond.
One thing that you need to know for sure is that in Poland the weather can be tricky. Before
making any plans, be sure to check the weather, because in the recent years snow
sometimes surprised us in May.