Pulaski Day – Polish holiday that nobody in Poland ever heard of
Polish calendar is famous for its multitude of public holidays. Poles got a great variety of different occasions that allows them to stay at home and celebrate. Though, nobody celebrates the General Pulaski Memorial Day that is so popular among the Polish diaspora.
Celebration of Pulaski Day in the USA
Kazimierz Pulaski [kaˈʑimʲɛʂ puˈwaskʲi] ( listen) was a Polish nobleman who fought for the Polish and the American freedom. He is said to have saved George Washington‘s life during the American Revolution. Pulaski became a general and created the Pulaski Cavalry Legion. He is called the father of American cavalry. He died at the Battle of Savannah.
In 1929, the American Congress passed a resolution recognizing October 11 of each year as ‘General Pulaski Memorial Day’. A large parade is annually held on Fifth Avenue in New York City. During the parade crowds dressed in Polish national colors march together with pairs dressed in traditional Polish folk costumes. Then you can also see some traditional Polish dances.
Some states with large Polish-American populations celebrate Casimir Pulaski Day on the 1st Monday of every March. In Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Virginia you will find Pulaski Counties.
Columbus day in the USA
What is understandable yet different for the Poles arriving in the USA is Columbus Day. Christopher Columbus discovered America on October 12, 1492. His day is celebrated in Spain and some countries of both American annually on every 2nd Monday of October. It may be a new occurrence for Polish people because nobody ever ‘discovered’ Poland. It was just there among abundant forests. Many Poles claim that the 1st important date in the Polish history is 966 and the Baptism of Poland.