When Americans celebrate the Veterans Day – November 11 for the Polish is the National Independence Day. In Poland, it’s one of the few days within a year when Poles put up Polish flags.

Polish Independence Day

Poland ceased to exist after the Third Partition of Poland in 1795. It was divided between the Russian Empire, the Habsburg Empire, and the Kingdom of Prussia. The country regained sovereignty after
123 years
in 1918.

As the restoration of Poland’s independence was a gradual process November 11, is a day when Józef Piłsudski assumed authority over the country. After his incarceration by the Germans Piłsudski returned to Poland and on November 11 formed a centralized government and later called parliamentary elections.

The holiday was celebrated only twice before World War II, and after the war, the communists erased Independence Day from the Polish calendar. After the Fall of Berlin Wall in 1989, the November 11 holiday was restored.

Recent Independence Marches in Poland

Warsaw – the capital of Poland – is the city where all the biggest marches and protests start or take place.

In 2008 the far-right National Radical Camp and All-Polish Youth began organizing “March of Independence.” The march was characterized by notable violence, property damages and clashes between the extremists and the police. The biggest act of vandalism, directly connected with the march, was burning “Tęcza” Rainbow monument. The monument was for many a symbol of LGBT and stood in one of the hippest areas of Warsaw. The authorities of the city declared the march illegal.

From 2012, in answer to the associated with violence “March of Independence,” the President of Poland leads another march called “Razem dla Niepodległej” (“Together for the Independent“). March is strictly connected with all the official ceremony and accompanied by patriotic songs. Thanks to individual city’s authorities, each year people of Warsaw and Kraków have a chance to sing patriotic songs together in the main city squares. This year in Kraków this annual event will be called “62. Lekcja Śpiewania “Radosna Niepodległości (Eng:”62nd Lesson of Singing ‘Joyful Independence’)

In Seattle, the Polish Cultural Center will be organizing an official celebration of Polish Independence Day on Sunday, November 13 at 2.30 pm.