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All Saints' Day in Poland

All Saints’ Day (Wszystkich Swietych) is an annual national holiday in Poland to celebrate the saints on November 1. It is also known as the Day of the Dead, as many people remember dead family and friends on this day.

Is All Saints' Day a Public Holiday?

All Saints' Day is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

Candles on the graves in a cemetary in Krakow, Poland.
Candles on the graves in a cemetery in Krakow, Poland.
©iStockphoto.com/badahos

What do people do?

Special church services are held to commemorate the saints in various towns and cities in Poland. Many people in Poland lay flowers and candles on the graves of deceased family members and friends in cemeteries. This tradition continues through to All Souls’ Day (Dzien Zaduszny or Zaduszki), which is on November 2, but it is not a public holiday.

Public Life

All Saints’ 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

All Saints’ Day is celebrated in Poland and in many other countries. According to some sources, the idea for All Saints' Day goes back to the fourth century while other sources say that a commemoration of “All Martyrs” began to be celebrated as early as 270 CE. Pope Gregory IV made All Saints' Day an authorized holiday in the Catholic Church in 835 CE.

Symbols

The candles that are laid on graves are especially made so they can burn for many hours. It is believed that these candles help the departed souls find their way through the darkness.

About All Saints' Day in other countries

Read more about All Saints' Day.

All Saints' Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2010MonNov 1All Saints' DayNational holiday
2011TueNov 1All Saints' DayNational holiday
2012ThuNov 1All Saints' DayNational holiday
2013FriNov 1All Saints' DayNational holiday
2014SatNov 1All Saints' DayNational holiday
2015SunNov 1All Saints' DayNational holiday
2016TueNov 1All Saints' DayNational holiday
2017WedNov 1All Saints' DayNational holiday
2018ThuNov 1All Saints' DayNational holiday
2019FriNov 1All Saints' DayNational holiday
2020SunNov 1All Saints' DayNational holiday

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