Happy Polish Independence Day!

Posted on 11. Nov, 2015 by in Culture, History, Holidays

Most of you probably know it, but for these of you that don’t, Poland’s National Independence Day (Narodowe Święto Niepodległości Polski) marks the anniversary of the country’s independence in 1918. It is celebrated as a nationwide holiday on November 11 each year.

Ceremonious gatherings and parades are held in Polish towns and cities, including at Piłsudski Square in Warsaw (Plac Piłsudskiego w Warszawie). A change of guards (zmiana straży) also occurs at midday near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the capital city. Many churches celebrate Independence Day with a special mass. Another highlight is the Race of Independence (Wyścig niepodległości), which involves thousands of participants.


Found on http://www.getintravel.com

Poland regained its independence on November 11, 1918, after 123 years of partitions by Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Russia. On November 11, 1918, the Polish Military Organization’s secret departments, demobilized soldiers, and legionnaires disarmed the Germans in Warsaw and other Polish towns. The Regency Government appointed Józef Pilsudski as commander in chief over the Polish forces and 3 days later he was given complete civil control. He formed a new centralized government which on November 21 issued key measures including a manifesto of agricultural reforms. Pilsudski also brought in more favorable conditions for the workers and called parliamentary elections.

November 11 was announced a national holiday in 1937. However, it was removed as an official holiday from 1939 to 1989. The holiday was restored in 1989 and has since been a national public holiday.

In this Great War, Poles fought on all major fronts and in all major armies. In many cases spontaneously and under the able leadership of Józef Piłsudski, Polish volunteers from all three parts of their partitioned country formed national military units, which quickly coalesced into an armed force capable of securing the country’s borders. Nearly 500,000 Polish soldiers died in the war and at least the same number were wounded. The sacrifice was great, but so was the cause.
And so, the events and the diverse forces, which came together in 1918, enabled the Polish nation to win back its right to an independent existence and to be able to shape its own future.

Thus, November 11 of that memorable year was for Poland also a beginning.  Truly daunting tasks lay before her leaders: establishing borders with, in most cases, hostile neighbors, uniting into one, integrated society a nation which, for the preceding century and a quarter, had been divided among three very different imperial systems, and constructing functioning economic and political systems.  November 11, 1918, was a huge success for Poles, but it also imposed on them the responsibility for solving their quite formidable problems.

Happy Independence day!


Let’s have a pizza party! Pizza in Poland!

Posted on 04. Nov, 2015 by in cooking, Culture, food


U Borsuka #uborsuka

Above image by Paweł on Flickr.com

People might not equate the country of Poland with pizza very often, but the surprising truth is that pizza is quite popular in that nation today.

You can find Domino’s or Pizza Hut in Poland…but there are a lot of great places, with unique, home made pizza recipes, that you should visit. You can find a lot of places like this in most of the cities, but especially in Warsaw and Kraków!

Check out some of the trip advisor places to try pizza here.

My mother used to make pizza quite often! And it was nothing like pizza I’m used to have here in US…

She used to make pretty thick and puffy crust (she used brownie like deep baking pan, so it was almost like pizza cake) …and added whatever we wanted to it! It was super yummy. And one very interesting thing about pizza in Poland….(I bet all of you that had pizza in Poland will know what I’m talking about) is that almost everyone puts ketchup on their pizza!!! My husband couldn’t believe it…:) If you order a slice of pizza at the street stand/food truck…make sure you will ask for no ketchup (if you don’t like it), because most likely you will get one with ketchup on it!

Polish open-face sandwiches (also known as French-bread pizzas) are popular street food in the bigger cities of Poland. They’re known as zapiekanki (plural) or zapiekanka  (singular). Zapiekanka comes from zapiekać, which means “to bake,” and is the culinary term for a casserole.

Most zapiekanki sandwiches start with French bread, sauteed mushrooms, cheese and ketchup, but there are Hawaiian-style zapiekanki with pineapple, and Greek style with olives and feta cheese. Of course, the beverage of choice with a zapiekanka is Polish piwo (beer)!



Spooky Halloween Night in Poland!

Posted on 31. Oct, 2015 by in Culture, Holidays

A lot of people say that there is no such thing as Halloween in Poland! Well, partly they are right as you won’t find any day called that in the calendar, but… at the same time more and more Poles (especially young ones) celebrate Halloween. So the big question is – what can you expect from Halloween in Poland? If you live in a big city you may be invited to a Halloween party in a club or a Polish friend’s home. What should you do? Of course, have fun! Nearly all clubs in Poland have a Halloween Party on October 31st. Choose a costume which is going to be scary and recognizable, then prepare yourself for a lot of frightening fun!
On your way to a party you may see dressed up children playing trick or treat. Even though not every door opens, they are not discouraged. Children knock on the door of each family just in order to get some sweets or scare their friends.


The next two days, the 1st and 2nd of November, are national holidays (unfortunately not because people need to have time to recover from their hangover from the Halloween party previous day). The 1st and 2nd of November are very important days – All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.  In Poland most people travel to the places where their relatives were buried. They meet at the graves, pray for those who are gone and talk about good things they did. It is a serious celebration having nothing in common with a happy Halloween.

As you may notice, there is loads of contradiction in Polish ‘Halloween’, but most Poles do not associate celebrating Halloween with betraying their ancestors (although some Catholics see celebrating Halloween as something inappropriate and don’t do it). Old Christian Tradition coexists with American’s Halloween and even though they contradict each other, it seems almost impossible that one of them would defeat the other. If you are about to experience this period in Poland for the first time you should prepare for a new cultural experience. I hope you will find it, maybe not the most fun, but at least interesting.

And now, let’s see if there are any fun songs, rhymes, you may need to know before that night…And let’s see if you can guess where do they come from? Three different ones – try to guess in comments below:)

If there’s somethin’ strange in your neighborhood
Who ya gonna call (ghostbusters)
If it’s somethin’ weird an it won’t look good
Who ya gonna call (ghostbusters)
I ain’t afraid of no ghost
I ain’t afraid of no ghost
Jeśli w twoim sąsiedztwie jest coś dziwnego
Do kogo zadzwonisz? (Do pogromców duchów)
Jeśli jest to coś dziwacznego i nie wygląda to dobrze
Do kogo zadzwonisz? (Do pogromców duchów)
Nie boję się żadnego ducha
Nie boję się żadnego ducha

You’d better hope and pray
That you make it safe
Back to your own world
You’d better hope and pray
That you’ll wake one day
In your own world
Coz when you sleep at night
They don’t hear your cries
In your own world
Only time will tell
If you can break the spell
Back in your own world
Lepiej miej nadzieję i módl się
Żebyś bezpiecznie wrócił
Do swojego świata
Lepiej miej nadzieję i módl się
Żebyś któregoś dnia obudził się
W swoim świecie
Bo kiedy w nocy śpisz
Oni nie słyszą twoich krzyków
W twoim świecie
Tylko czas pokaże
Czy będziesz w stanie zrzucić tę klątwę
W twoim świecie

It’s close to midnight
and something evil’s lurking in the dark
Under the moonlight,
you see a sight that almost stops your heart
You try to scream
but terror takes the sound before you make it
You start to freeze
as horror looks you right between the eyes
You’re paralyzed

You hear the door slam
and realize there’s nowhere left to run
You feel the cold hand
and wonder if you’ll ever see the sun
You close your eyes
and hope that this is just imagination
But all the while
you hear the creature creeping up behind
You’re out of time
Już prawie północ
i coś złego czai się w ciemności
W świetle księżyca
dostrzegasz coś, co niemal sprawia, że twoje serce przestaje bić
Próbujesz krzyczeć,
ale przerażenie odbiera ci głos
Zastygasz w bezruchu,
stając oko w oko z grozą
Jesteś sparaliżowany

Słyszysz, jak trzaskają drzwi
i uświadamiasz sobie, że już nie ma dokąd uciec
Czujesz zimną dłoń
i zastanawiasz się, czy jeszcze kiedyś zobaczysz słońce
Zamykasz oczy
i masz nadzieję, że to tylko twoja wyobraźnia
Ale cały czas
słyszysz jak jakiś potwór skrada się za twoimi plecami
Nie masz już czasu

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Happy Halloween!!!