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Labor Day / May Day in Poland

Many people in Poland have the day off work or school on Labor Day (Święto Pracy), or May 1 (1 Maja). It is a time to celebrate both the spring time and workers’ rights.

Is Labor Day / May Day a Public Holiday?

Labor Day / May Day is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

portrait of happy family having a picnic
Many families celebrate the May 1 public holiday with outdoor activities, such as picnics, in Poland.
Many families celebrate the May 1 public holiday with outdoor activities, such as picnics, in Poland.
©iStockphoto.com/Jaroslaw Wojcik

What Do People Do?

Many people in Poland enjoy May 1 by being outdoors, as it marks a time when the weather becomes warmer in the spring. It is part of a holiday season known as Majówka, which includes Poland’s Constitution Day, celebrated on May 3. There are occasional marches to promote workers’ rights in some major cities.

Public Life

May 1 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

Many parts of Europe celebrated Labor Day from 1890 onwards. The holiday was declared in Poland in 1899, to commemorate a workers’ strike in Chicago, USA. There is some political controversy regarding the Labor Day celebrations, as it was one of the most important holidays that were celebrated during Poland’s Communist era. Today, people celebrate May 1 by having a day off school or work, and by enjoying the warmer spring weather. Labor Day is also observed in other places in the world.

About Labor Day / May Day in other countries

Read more about Labor Day / May Day.

Labor Day / May Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2010SatMay 1Labor Day / May DayNational holiday
2011SunMay 1Labor Day / May DayNational holiday
2012TueMay 1Labor Day / May DayNational holiday
2013WedMay 1Labor Day / May DayNational holiday
2014ThuMay 1Labor Day / May DayNational holiday
2015FriMay 1Labor Day / May DayNational holiday
2016SunMay 1Labor Day / May DayNational holiday
2017MonMay 1Labor Day / May DayNational holiday
2018TueMay 1Labor Day / May DayNational holiday
2019WedMay 1Labor Day / May DayNational holiday
2020FriMay 1Labor Day / May DayNational holiday

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