National Independence Day is a public holiday in Poland celebrated on November 11 to commemorate regained the country’s independence in 1918. It is celebrated as a nationwide holiday on November 11 each year.
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.
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 since then it has been a national public holiday.
Ceremonious gatherings and parades are held in Polish towns and cities, including at Pilsudski Square in Warsaw. A change of guards 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, which involves thousands of participants. Many houses, buildings, buses and trams display Polish flags on Independence Day.
Independence Day is an official public holiday in Poland, so schools, banks, government offices and most private businesses are closed.