Poland is a country of very rich traditions. And one of our favorite traditions in Poland is their ability to have holidays!
All kidding aside, May 1 and 3 are very important dates in Poland.
May 1, Poland celebrates Labour Day. It is a Bank Holiday, and, therefore, many Polish businesses are closed for that day so that people can relax and have a moment to be honored for all of their hard work. Families spend most of their time outdoors having a grill and going on long walks in forests or around lakes.
May 3, Poland celebrates their Constitution Day. Poland’s Constitution was proudly established on May 3, 1791, making it just a few years younger than the Constitution of the United States. In Polish, it is called: Konstytucja Trzeciego Maja. It is also a holiday where you will find most shops and stores closed.
According to historian Norman Davies, Poland’s Constitution is called, “the first constitution of its kind in Europe”.
Of course, the history of Poland is very tumultuous for hundreds of years after, but since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, this has become the new Preamble to the Polish Constitution:
Having regard for the existence and future of our Homeland,
Which recovered, in 1989, the possibility of a sovereign and democratic determination of its fate,
We, the Polish Nation – all citizens of the Republic,
Both those who believe in God as the source of truth, justice, good and beauty,
As well as those not sharing such faith but respecting those universal values as arising from other sources,
Equal in rights and obligations towards the common good – Poland,
Beholden to our ancestors for their labors, their struggle for independence achieved at great sacrifice, for our culture rooted in the Christian heritage of the Nation and in universal human values,
Recalling the best traditions of the First and the Second Republic,
Obliged to bequeath to future generations all that is valuable from our over one thousand years’ heritage,
Bound in community with our compatriots dispersed throughout the world,
Aware of the need for cooperation with all countries for the good of the Human Family,
Mindful of the bitter experiences of the times when fundamental freedoms and human rights were violated in our Homeland,
Desiring to guarantee the rights of the citizens for all time, and to ensure diligence and efficiency in the work of public bodies,
Recognizing our responsibility before God or our own consciences,
Hereby establish this Constitution of the Republic of Poland as the basic law for the State, based on respect for freedom and justice, cooperation between the public powers, social dialogue as well as on the principle of subsidiarity in the strengthening the powers of citizens and their communities.
We call upon all those who will apply this Constitution for the good of the Third Republic to do so paying respect to the inherent dignity of the person, his or her right to freedom, the obligation of solidarity with others, and respect for these principles as the unshakeable foundation of the Republic of Poland.
For those of us with the privilege of living, studying, or working in this fine country, we are extremely thankful to celebrate these days and enjoy our freedoms that Poland has fought so hard to give its people.
So, today, we say, “HAPPY CONSTITUTION DAY, POLAND!” We are honored to be amongst you!
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2 (ESV)