National Day of Poland
Declaration of Independence (when is Independence Day) The National Independence Day of Poland commemorates the anniversary of the nation’s independence in 1918. Poland celebrates its Independence Day on 11 November.
Poland got its freedom on 11 November 1918; i.e. after 123 years of partition and rule by Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Russia. On 11 November 1918, the secret department of the Polish Military Organization disarmed the Germans in Warsaw as well as other Polish cities. Józef Pilsudski was declared as the commander-in-chief by the Regency Government and three days after independence he got complete civil control. He formed a new centralized government, which issued important measures on 21 November including agricultural reforms. In 1937, 11 November was declared a national holiday. But, from 1939-1989 it was removed as a national holiday. Finally, in 1989, the national holiday was restored. For the past twenty-four years, Independence Day is marked by multiple celebrations. The chief ceremony occurs at Pilsudski Square wherein higher state officials participate and various military promotions and distinctions are awarded. People watching the parades are seen waving flags and placing red and white hats with the word “Poland” inscribed on the same. Besides, there are many who also prefer spending their time actively. Since 1989 solemnity has been observed in celebrating Independence Day. After years of fighting for freedom, for their identity and native language, today they can actually claim to be free.
The translated version of the English language is:
Poland has not yet succumbed.
As long as we remain,
What the foe by force has seized,
Sword in hand we’ll gain.
March! March, Dabrowski!
March from Italy to Poland!
Under your command
We shall reach our land.
Cross the Vistula and Warta
And Poles we shall be;
We’ve been shown by Bonaparte
Ways to victory.
As Czarniecki Poznan town regains,
Fighting with the Swede,
To free our fatherland from chains,
We shall return by sea.
Ceremonious parades and gatherings are organized in Polish cities and towns, including Pilsudski Square in Warsaw. Change of Guards is also observed during midday close to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the city’s capital. There are various churches that organize a special mass on this day. Besides, a Race of Independence is also organized, and the event witnesses hundreds of participants.
A public holiday is declared on this day; and schools, government offices, banks, as well as private firms remain closed. Any sort of trade transaction is also prohibited. People who need to travel by public transport on this day need to get in touch with the public transport authorities so as to get information on changes in the time schedules. Most buses, buildings, houses, and trams showcase Polish flags on this day.
Some facts that are worth noting are as follows:
- Poland holds the sixth rank among the most populated EU member state
- 90% of the residents have completed their secondary education
- It enjoys a democratic republic government
- Mieszko I founded Great (north) Poland in 966
- In 1952, a new constitution was introduced that made it a “people’s democracy” of the Soviet kind.
- It stretches over an approximate area of 120,728 sq mi (312,685 sq km)
- The prominent language spoken is Polish