Cultural: May 1 - Labor Day

Today's a holiday in Poland.

"Oh wait! Didn't you just have a holiday 2 weeks ago?" you ask.

flag Polish.jpg

"Yes, we did - it was Easter weekend."

This year, these major holidays fall only two weekends apart because Easter fell so late this year.

May 1 is Labor Day and is one of our official holidays.

Polish people mostly celebrate it with simply a day off from work - relaxing at home or at the "family home" somewhere outside the city center.  

a photo from the communist era - photo - google images

a photo from the communist era - photo - google images

I've asked several people in the last few days to tell me what it means to them.  The ones I asked were all a bit older and they told me, "Now, nothing!".  When they were young and in school, there were parades that everyone participated in.

After further reading, I saw that the parades were organized by the communist party and participation was mandatory.  They carried flags and marched in order to show the world how great they were - but if you chose not to participate, you were punished - by lower pay, or not being allowed to take exams if you were a student (which meant you couldn't graduate), etc. Subtle punishment. Not.

There are a few parades still organized and going on in downtown Warsaw, for example. Mostly, however, not much is happening anywhere today.   photo - google images

There are a few parades still organized and going on in downtown Warsaw, for example. Mostly, however, not much is happening anywhere today.   photo - google images

Since it falls on May 1, often the weather is beautiful and people have grills and outdoor activities. There don't appear to be many "typical" traditional activities for the day anymore - it is simply a free day.  This type of holiday must be pretty nice for most Polish people since there aren't a lot of things that tradition says that they have to do. Truly a "break".

A typical parade.  Photo from google images.

A typical parade.  Photo from google images.

Everywhere, however, there are flags flying - and we'll leave ours up because we've got another political holiday in 2 days!

Here are some old political banners from the communist era: (all taken from google images)

 

And that's all for now from Poland!

 

Below are some beautiful florals my sis has for sale in her shop!  Be sure to check her out if you have need of some fabric!

Becky PetersenComment