The word Majówka has several meanings in the Polish language. It used to mean a wreath made of a young fir tree, decorated with ribbons, which a boy would place in front of the house of the girl of his choice. This wreath was usually put up in May – on the night before the first or third of May.
What does the word Majówka mean now?
The most commonly used definition of Majówka is like a long Mayday weekend in Poland. It’s the beginning of May, and time for a holiday in Poland, with May 1 and May 3 formally designated ‘free days’ to mark May Day and Constitution Day. In between falls Flag Day (May 2) – not officially a holiday, but one that in fact many will take off from work to allow a long weekend that is called Majówka.
What are the holidays during Majówka in Poland?
In Poland, May 1st is celebrated as Labour Day, which since 1950 has become a public holiday and a day off work. During the communist era, May Day parades were organised on this day to celebrate important events for the workers’ community. Today, the International Labour Day in Poland is spontaneous. Various demonstrations by different parties are organised in many cities in Poland. On this day schools, banks, government offices and most private businesses are closed and people enjoy the day off.
On 2nd of May we celebrate the Flag Day of the Republic of Poland. It is one of the youngest national holidays, established in 2004. On this day we particularly commemorate the history of the Polish national colours, symbols and patriotic traditions. The Polish national colours date back to the reign of the Piast dynasty. The choice of colours for the flag is a reflection of the colours of the Polish flag – a white eagle on a red background.The holiday is also meant to remind us to respect the flag and other national symbols. May 2nd is not a public holiday, but many Poles take a holiday on that day and many institutions are also closed on that day.
3 May Constitution Day (Polish: Święto Konstytucji 3 Maja) is a Polish national and public holiday that takes place on 3 May. The holiday celebrates the declaration of the Constitution of 3 May 1791. Festivities date back to the Duchy of Warsaw early in the 19th century, but it became an official holiday only in 1919 in the Second Polish Republic. Delisted during the times of the Polish People’s Republic, it was reestablished after the fall of communism in modern Poland.
In modern Poland, this day, free from work, sees many parades, exhibitions, concerts and public figure speeches.
Long Weekend in Polish Language
Most of the people take advantage of this long weekend and go away or enjoy being outdoors, as usually in May weather gets finally warmer. Travel agencies and airlines have special promotions for quick getaways and hotels in major resort locations in Poland are fully booked.
Majówka is also known as a long weekend, because all Poles take these days off and go to cottages or tents outside the city and spend time with their family and friends.