Nowadays Poles celebrate 13 public holidays and religious feasts, which are non-working days. Most public institutions, banks and shopping centres are closed on these days. However, you may find some local smaller shops in the neighbourhood, which will be open.

In bigger Polish cities like Warsaw, Cracow, Gdańsk, Wrocław or Poznań public holidays are generally observed in the same way.

Special days (marked green) such as Women’s Day (8 March), Mother’s Day (26 May), Grandmother’s Day (21 January), Grandfather’s Day (22 January), Children’s Day (1 June) and Father’s Day (23 June) are normal working days and are celebrated mostly at home.

Below we list and describe the most important public holidays and observances in Poland in 2015:

Jan. 1st (Thu),New Year’s Day (Nowy Rok)
Jan. 6th (Tue),Epiphany (Trzech Króli) wikipedia
Jan. 21st (Wed), Grandmother’s Day (Dzień Babci)
Jan. 22st (Thu), Grandfather’s Day (Dzień Dziadka)
March 8th (Sun),Women’s Day (Dzień Kobiet) wikipedia
Apr. 5th (Sun),Easter Sunday (Wielkanoc)
Apr. 6st (Mon),Easter Monday (Śmigus Dyngus)
May 1st (Fri),Labour Day (Święto Pracy)
May 3rd (Sun),Constitution Day (Konstytucji 3. Maja)
May 24th (Sun),Pentecost Sunday (Zielone Świątki)
May 26th (Tue),Mother’s Day (Dzień Matki)
Jun. 1st (Mon),Children’s Day (Dzień Dziecka)
Jun. 4th (Thu),Corpus Christi (Boże Ciało) wikipedia
Jun. 23rd (Tue),Father’s Day (Dzień Ojca)
Aug. 15th (Sat),Assumption (Wniebowzięcie)
Nov. 1st (Sun),All Saints’ Day (Wszystkich Świętych)
Nov. 11th (Wed),Independence Day (Dzień Niepodległości)
Dec. 25th (Fri),Christmas Day (Boże Narodzenie)
Dec. 26th (Sat),Boxing Day (Św. Szczepana)

When a public holiday falls on Saturday an employee is entitled to an extra day off. The public holiday is observed on a normal working day mutually agreed between employer and employee. In 2015 there are two public holidays – Assumption and Boxing Day, which fall on a Saturday. If the holiday falls on a Sunday employees are not entitled to an additional non-working day. Always consult an HR representative to confirm how it works at your company.

Epiphany • January 6th

An Epiphany parade in Poland

An Epiphany parade in Poland

It is celebrated on 6th of January and commemorates the presentation of the infant Jesus to the 3 Kings – Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar – the three Wise Men. On this day many Catholics take part in a procession, singing carols and praying. Children have a parade dressed in colours symbolising three continents – Europe, Africa, Asia (the supposed homes of the Wise Men). Children may also carry models representing the scene of Jesus Christ’s birth and perform nativity plays. At the end of the parade route, church leaders often preach on the spiritual significance of the Epiphany. In 2011 Parliament officially restored the date as a non-working national public holiday in Poland, so there’s no need to go to work!

Women’s Day • March 8th

In the People’s Republic of Poland (1945- 1989) Women’s day was ostentatiously celebrated as a political event. Prominent politicians were bravely proclaiming propagandistic slogans as “there is no area in Poland, where a Polish woman doesn’t play an important role“. On this day, all women in Poland used to receive special attention usually by getting a flower such as a carnation, and a pair of stockings. Nowadays the 8th of March is just an occasion for men to show their love, respect and admiration to the women around them. Women are mostly showered with gifts such as roses or sweets.

Corpus Christi • June 4th

Corpus Christi (Boże Ciało) is a Catholic feast, celebrated in commemoration of the Last Supper and the transformation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. On this day, in the atmosphere of happiness and joy, the Catholic Church commemorates the practice of Holy Eucharist, or Communion. Corpus Christ is a moveable feast which occurs 60 days after Easter, always between 21st of May and 24rd of June. At the end of Holy Mass, people take part in a procession of the Blessed Sacrament. The processions include children dressed in white who scatter flower petals on the streets (to welcome Jesus walking the streets with the people). Corpus Christi is an official public holiday in Poland, so schools, banks, government offices and most private businesses are closed.

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