Popular festivals in Poland are distributed practically throughout the whole year. Every month there is an event or festivity to celebrate in this beautiful country, so whenever you travel, you will coincide with a traditional celebration.
Polish people are mostly Christians, so their popular festivals are marked according to the calendar of Catholic festivities. However, the most traditional Polish popular festivals bring together popular beliefs as well as Catholic customs. For this reason, in many small towns, there is still an important syncretism of old customs.
Take note of the following festivities in Poland to enjoy your visit to this country even more.
January - New Year
In addition to the New Year or Nowy Rok, in Poland on 21st January the day of the Grandmother is celebrated. On the other hand, even in the small towns an old tradition remains which is related to the celebration of the Three Kings' Day.
On the sixth of January it was customary to carry the star of Bethlehem in procession from house to house while singing carols. The ride was made up of a group of locals dressed up as different characters. The procession knocked on every door, and in return they received drinks and food. The custom considered this representation as a symbol of good luck.
February - Polish folk festivals
During this month two of the most peculiar Polish folk festivals take place. On the one hand, it is on 2nd February when the feast of Our Lady of Candlemas is celebrated. During this celebration, the faithful go to church to light candles, which they carry to their homes without them being extinguished. According to popular belief, this ritual grants them protection from fires, storms and demons.
Also in February, Fat Thursday is celebrated, a day in which extremely high-calorie foods are consumed. This day is celebrated on the last Thursday of Carnival, before the fast of Lent, currently Fat Thursday is still celebrated on but the fast not so much.
March - Marzanna
On 21st March Polish people, especially children, celebrate the Marzanna. This tradition is very old, and consisted of carrying a straw doll in procession through the town to end up drowning or burning it. The doll symbolised winter, and also evil, which ended a dark period, to welcome the spring.
Today, this Polish popular festival has become a social event for the youngest. It is a holiday for students, who take the opportunity to go out and have fun coinciding with the improvement of temperatures.
April - Holy Week
Another popular holiday in Poland, as in all Catholic countries, is Holy Week. During this festivity, the most remarkable are the techniques of decorating Easter eggs. Each of them is a unique work of art, which will leave you open-mouthed if you see the country during this month.
On Easter Monday, in some small Polish villages, an ancient tradition called smigus-dyngus is still preserved. This tradition consisted of the boys wetting the girls with water to wish them good luck and future good omens.
May - Swieto Narodowe Trzeciego Maja
On the third of May, one of the most commemorative events in Poland is celebrated: the Swieto Narodowe Trzeciego Maja. This day is Constitution Day, signed in the year 1791. Together with the Day of the Flag which is celebrated on day 2, and Labour Day on 1st May, these three days are known as Majówka, and are holidays throughout the country.
June - Jarmark Swietojanski
The Night of San Juan is another of the festivities in Poland which coincides with the Catholic celebrations. As in other European countries, the Poles take to the streets, but this time dressed in traditional Polish clothing. Bonfires are made, and the Fair of San Juan or Jarmark Swietojanski is celebrated.
July and August - Harvest Festival
The summer months are a reason for the celebration of popular festivals in Poland, especially those related to agricultural tasks. In the smaller towns, the Harvest Festival is still celebrated, with fruit and vegetable stalls, traditional music and abundant liquor and beer.
One of the biggest events in Poland is the Jagiellonian Fair in Lublin during the month of August. During the celebration, various festivals and theatrical representations take place, amongst a lot of music and typical Polish food.
September and October - Warsaw Contemporary Music Festival
During the autumn, Poland is filled with culture, first with its Warsaw Contemporary Music Festival in September, and then with the Dialog-Wroclaw International Theatre Festival in October
November - Independence Day
The month of November is the time when the Poles celebrate their Independence Day or Narodowe Swieto Niepodleglosci. On 11th November, the anniversary of independence is celebrated with parades and public events.
And on the 29th of this month, the San Andrés Vigil takes place, a celebration which brings with it the tradition of melting the wax and submerging it in cold water to create figurines which will be used as an oracle.
December - Pierwszy Dzien Bozego Narodzenia
Christmas can't be missing from the list of popular festivals in Poland. This celebration, known as Pierwszy Dzien Bozego Narodzenia, is like in many other Catholic countries, a date for the family to gather around a good table full of delicacies.
Whenever you travel to Poland, you can certainly participate in some of its popular festivals and events, so your memories will be even more precious.