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If you live in Poland for some time you may have heard about the Independence Day. In 1918 Poland after 123 years of occupation (1795-1918) regained independence and to commemorate this date has adopted public holiday on November 11. It is very important day for each Pole, however, over the years it has also become strongly controversial. If you want to learn more about the topic, we encourage you to read this article.
Why November 11?
Officially, Poland did not regain independence on November 11. This process lasted gradually, and the choice of November 11 can be justified for two reasons. The first is a Armistice of Compiègne which completed I World War. The second is the arrival on November 10 of Józef Piłsudski (Polish social activist, soldier, politician and statesman) to Warsaw. It was precisely during these two days, when Poles began to realize that Poland, after many years of captivity eventually had obtained the independence.
How Poles celebrate the Independence Day?
November 11 is a statutory day off from work. The main celebration of the holiday take place in Warsaw at the Piłsudski Square at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. But this is not the only way how people celebrate this holiday.
Another form is, for example, the Independence Run organized every year since 1989 in Warsaw. It is the second largest race in Warsaw, and it is not only for runners but also skaters, disabled people and nordic walkers.
Since 2009 at the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising (find out when you can visit this museum for free here) is held the Independence Concert. It is a verbal-musical spectacle featuring the canons of Polish patriotic song, in modern arrangements with respect to the cultural heritage maintaining Polish harmony.
Another popular form of celebration the Independence Day is the March of Independence. It is a manifestation on the streets of Warsaw organised since 2010. Unfortunately, every year marches are full of controversy, riots against police officers and blockades set by leftist circles.
If you have something to do on that day or you are meeting with friends we recommend you to get out earlier from the flat. The best form of transport is underground, we do not recommend buses and trams due to many changes of the route. Further information and details can be found at: ztm.waw.pl. Site is also available in English.
If you have additional questions regarding the Independence Day in Poland or your own experience associated with this day, we encourage you to share them in the comments section below.