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Independence Day in Poland

Quick Facts

National Independence Day is an annual public holiday in Poland on November 11 to commemorate the country’s independence in 1918.

Local names

NameLanguage
Dzień NiepodległościPolish
Independence DayEnglish
UnabhängigkeitstagGerman

Independence Day 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Independence Day 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
List of dates for other years

Poland’s National Independence Day marks the anniversary of the country’s independence in 1918. It is celebrated as a nationwide holiday on November 11 each year.

Spectators watch an Independence Day parade in Gdansk, Poland.

©iStockphoto.com/nightman1965

What do people do?

Ceremonious gatherings and parades are held in Polish towns and cities, including at Pilsudski Square in Warsaw. A change of guards also occurs at midday near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the capital city. Many churches celebrate Independence Day with a special mass. Another highlight is the Race of Independence, which involves thousands of participants.

Public life

Independence Day is an official public holiday in Poland, so schools, banks, government offices and most private businesses are closed. There is a trade prohibition on public holidays in Poland. People intending to travel via public transport during public holidays must check with the public transit authorities on any changes to time schedules.

Background

Poland regained its independence on November 11, 1918, after 123 years of partitions by Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Russia. On November 11, 1918, the Polish Military Organization’s secret departments, demobilized soldiers, and legionnaires disarmed the Germans in Warsaw and other Polish towns. The Regency Government appointed Józef Pilsudski as commander in chief over the Polish forces and 3 days later he was given complete civil control. He formed a new centralized government which on November 21 issued key measures including a manifesto of agricultural reforms. Pilsudski also brought in more favorable conditions for the workers and called parliamentary elections.

November 11 was announced a national holiday in 1937. However, it was removed as an official holiday from 1939 to 1989. The holiday was restored in 1989 and has since been a national public holiday.

Symbols

Many houses, buildings, buses and trams display Polish flags on Independence Day. The Polish flag has 2 horizontal stripes of equal width and height – the upper stripe is white and the lower one is red. It was officially recognized in 1919, one year after Poland’s independence was regained.

Independence Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday type
SunNov 111990Independence DayNational holiday
MonNov 111991Independence DayNational holiday
WedNov 111992Independence DayNational holiday
ThuNov 111993Independence DayNational holiday
FriNov 111994Independence DayNational holiday
SatNov 111995Independence DayNational holiday
MonNov 111996Independence DayNational holiday
TueNov 111997Independence DayNational holiday
WedNov 111998Independence DayNational holiday
ThuNov 111999Independence DayNational holiday
SatNov 112000Independence DayNational holiday
SunNov 112001Independence DayNational holiday
MonNov 112002Independence DayNational holiday
TueNov 112003Independence DayNational holiday
ThuNov 112004Independence DayNational holiday
FriNov 112005Independence DayNational holiday
SatNov 112006Independence DayNational holiday
SunNov 112007Independence DayNational holiday
TueNov 112008Independence DayNational holiday
WedNov 112009Independence DayNational holiday
ThuNov 112010Independence DayNational holiday
FriNov 112011Independence DayNational holiday
SunNov 112012Independence DayNational holiday
MonNov 112013Independence DayNational holiday
TueNov 112014Independence DayNational holiday
WedNov 112015Independence DayNational holiday
FriNov 112016Independence DayNational holiday
SatNov 112017Independence DayNational holiday
SunNov 112018Independence DayNational holiday
MonNov 112019Independence DayNational holiday
WedNov 112020Independence DayNational holiday

Other holidays in November 2014 in Poland

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