While travel is harder than ever at the moment, you can still celebrate Polish Independence Day at home, or by sending gifts to the people you love abroad. Continue reading to find out more about Polish Independence Day.
A brief history of Polish Independence Day
Polish Independence Day celebrates the re-establishment of the Republic of Poland at the end of the First World War. For over a hundred years before the war, Poland was a divided nation ruled by the Kingdom of Prussia, the Russian Empire, and Austria.
These three superpowers ruled different regions of Poland under separate laws, leading to over a century of national conflict, confusion and division.
On November 11th 1918, the day the First World War ended, Poland became a united nation once again, and the country was granted its independence.
In 1945, the year the Second World War ended, Poland found itself under communist rule. As a result, Independence Day celebrations were abolished. However, in 1989, following the collapse of the communist government, Independence Day was reinstated as a national holiday. It is celebrated every November 11th.
Nowadays, Poland celebrates its independence with several ceremonies and parades, including at Pilsudski Square in Warsaw. There’s also a changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Polish Independence Day treats
No celebration is complete without a bite to eat. We’ve gathered suggestions from our teams in Krakow and London to bring you this list of things to eat on November 11th.
- Pierogis (Polish dumplings)
Popular fillings include mushroom and sauerkraut or cottage cheese and potato. These delicious Polish dumplings are quick to cook and even quicker to eat.
- Placki Ziemniaczane (Potato pancakes)
Savoury, hearty pancakes best topped with either mushroom sauce or sour cream and a sprinkle of sugar for a touch of sweetness.
- Rosół (Chicken soup)
Not your average chicken soup. This Polish version is best served with carrots, beef bone, turkey necks and with or without noodles.
- Pączki (Polish doughnuts)
A Tłusty Czwartek (Fat Thursday) staple every February 11th, these Polish delights can be enjoyed on any day. And Independence Day is no exception.
- Gołąbki (Cabbage rolls)
This dish means “little pigeons”, and every Polish family has its own recipe. This Independence Day, try the ground pork, beef, and rice variation.
- Łazanki (Polish pasta)
Pasta is what you make with it. This Independence Day, make it with streaky bacon, tomatoes and grilled cabbage. Simple and tasty.
- Kotlet Schabowy (Breaded pork cutlet)
Similar to kiev or schnitzel, enjoy with a mountain of chips and all the trimmings.
- Barszcz (Polish red borscht)
It’s also called barszcz or barščiai, and you can have it with or without meat. Once that’s decided, enjoy this tasty soup as a main dish or appetiser.
Fun facts about Poland
- Marie Curie is actually Polish
It’s true. The multiple Nobel Prize winner wasn’t French, but Polish. She was born Marie Sklodowska before later marrying a Frenchman named Pierre Curie.
- Mushrooming is a ‘thing’ in Poland
Going to the forest to pick wild mushrooms at summer’s end is a popular activity for many families in Poland. Kids are taught how to distinguish an edible mushroom from a poisonous one early on.
- Warsaw is home to Europe’s oldest restaurant
Called “Piwnica Swidnicka”, it was founded in 1275 and is still open for business.
- Poland and Colombia have more in common than you think
That’s because they both have their own version of St Valentine’s Day. Kupała or Wianki (The Feast of St. John the Baptist) is celebrated every June 21st. According to folklore, men jump over bonfires and women hope for wreaths with candles. The wreaths are let go from one side of the river to the other and, if one comes your way, you’ll be lucky in love.
- Poles celebrate Fat Thursday
As previously mentioned, Fat Thursday (Tłusty Czwartek) is a celebration in Poland. It falls every February, five days before Shrove Tuesday and six days before Ash Wednesday, and binge-eating is encouraged.
Azimo’s Polish roots
With a team based in Krakow and money transfer recipients all over Poland, Azimo is perfectly placed to embrace Polish Independence Day. But first, let’s step back in time for a moment.
Although Azimo was created in London in 2012, two of its four co-founders were actually from Poland. The company swiftly opened two offices overseas, one being in Krakow.
Fast forward eight years and the Krakow office now boasts a team of over 150 people. And the London office is growing in numbers too. Pozdrawiamy!