Cultural: March 11 - Poland's "Blue Laws" take effect

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Have you heard of the Blue Laws in the USA?

I kind of had before we moved away. They were something about stores not being open on Sunday. They were nothing that affected my life as they didn't seem pertinent to me where I was at the time.

In Poland, since we've been here (the fall of '94), there haven't been any laws about stores being open or not open on Sundays - most of the smaller stores closed on Saturday about 2 pm and opened again on Monday morning. However, the big stores, or supermarkets, as they began to come into the Polish market were open all day on Saturdays - not just til about 2 pm.

They stayed open late on Saturday and were open all day on Sundays.  Many people began to do their major shopping on Sundays.

However, there is a new party in place - a more conservative party - more Roman Catholic, as I understand it (I pretty much stay out of Polish politics), and they passed a law that starting March 11, stores can only be open on the first and last Sundays of the month. They must be closed for the rest of them in order to give their employees time to be at home with their families.

Here is the calendar of the dates that the stores will be open/closed this year

 The pink dates are the ones where the stores will be closed - the dark ones - where they can be open The calendar starts with March and goes through December.  - screen shot take from www.tvn24.pl

The pink dates are the ones where the stores will be closed - the dark ones - where they can be open The calendar starts with March and goes through December.  - screen shot take from www.tvn24.pl

This is really causing a lot of heated arguments and vitriol among many of the Polish people I know. They really like their stores to be open on Sundays! 

There will always be exceptions, of course - for example, gas stations - if you need something, you can go and get it at your local BP or Shell. 

 I think only the type of store that is so small that the owner is running it can be open.

I think only the type of store that is so small that the owner is running it can be open.

They want people to spend more time with their families and have time to go to church, of course. They aren't doing anything about sports, though - as far as I know all sporting events and things like concerts will go on as before. (It's slightly hypocritical to my way of thinking as there will be many people who have to work at those events - every weekend.)

The average Polish person doesn't like to be told what to do, though, so they fail to appreciate this endeavor - or at least it appears that way by what I've seen on social media. I suspect they will get used to it, though they will grumble until they do.

In Germany, these types of stores have been closed all along - and I think in France as well, so if you are reading this from there, this is nothing new to you and you are wondering why they are all upset.

I think the biggest problem is that for many years we didn't have enough stores and they were always, always crowded.  Closing them on Sundays would mean that more people would be shopping other days of the week, which would exacerbate the situation. But now, thankfully, we seem to have enough stores - so every store isn't always full, all the time.

 Not a grocery store - but this type of home building supplies store will also be closed

Not a grocery store - but this type of home building supplies store will also be closed

I hardly ever went to the store on Sunday, so it really doesn't affect me personally. It will only affect me if it means that there will be even more people on Saturdays. i already tried to stay out of the stores on Saturdays as they are crazy busy!

But it's okay. I'm an American - we always have food in the house! ;)

This is getting so much press - you would think that they are shutting up the stores for 2 months.

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So now we have our own form of "Blue Laws". I'm of the opinion if they are going to close them, then just close them - don't "keep them open half the time" - it's too confusing. We'll all adjust!

But now you know. 

And don't forget - if you need something from our store, be sure to check it out here! My sis works hard to keep you in fabric for all your current projects!