Customs and traditions
Poland's customs and customs do not usually
differ very much from the Swedish ones, although the
details may be slightly different. Catholicism is the
dominant religion, although it now faces liberal and
secular currents in society and politics.
In the 1880s, similarities arose between Poles and
Catholics, and during communism, churches served as
sanctuaries for all who wanted to feel like Poles.
Today, over 90 percent of the population say they are
Poles, which means that they were born and raised in the
Catholic tradition but are not necessarily practicing
Overview of the capital city of Poland, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
A foreign visitor can get two different pictures of
the country depending on who he or she is talking to.
Many are satisfied with the development of recent years,
while others believe that the situation for Poland is
tragic, that the country will soon go down, that Poland
is a Russian-German protectorate and that democratically
elected politicians are traitors who accidentally sit on
Polish food traditions are different from the Swedish
ones and are influenced by German and Eastern European.
The breakfast usually consists of sandwiches, different
kinds of porridge and tea (herbata), which in
Poland is much more common than coffee. In many
workplaces, a "second breakfast", consisting of tea,
sandwich or fruit, is almost mandatory. After work,
which usually ends between 14 and 16 in the afternoon,
the Poles rush home to dinner, the most important and
greatest meal of the day. Then three meals are eaten: a
soup as an appetizer, the other one consists of meat or
fish, potatoes or rice, and some vegetables or raw foods
(for example sauerkraut). The meal ends with dessert. In
the evening, cold sandwiches are usually eaten but
sometimes some light main course.
Many do not eat meat on Fridays, of old Catholic
tradition. Fish (seafood very rarely) is not counted as
meat and is therefore allowed Friday food. Three days a
year are offered "strict fast": Good Friday, Ash
Wednesday and Christmas Eve. On Christmas eve, however,
you can eat really measured once, and then it should
preferably be wigilia - 13 dishes without meat.
Wigilia varies between different regions but one thing,
the fatty fish carp, always occurs. It is grown in large
ponds especially for Christmas Eve. Before Christmas you
can see people on the streets carrying home bags of
sprawling, live fish. The carp is cooked in many
different ways: fried, in jelly, in Greek (in tomatoes),
in Jewish (in sweet, with raisins) and so on.
Belongs to the vodka belt
Before Ash Wednesday, Fatty Day occurs when eating
donuts (before noon at night!). These donuts correspond
to bran - both in terms of tradition and the number of
calories - and are roasted in large fat-filled vessels
at certain pastries. They should be filled with rose
marmalade. That day, long queues ring in front of these
Other typical Polish dishes are beet soup: Ukrainian
(with vegetables) or Lithuanian (without vegetables but
with a special Polish ravioli). In the summer, a typical
Polish dinner consists of chłodnik
(cold soup on sour milk and fresh beet leaves), stuffed
chicken, mizeria (cucumber salad in cream) and
fresh potatoes. And vanilla ice cream for dessert. In
winter it is not uncommon for golonka (large
pork belly). A typical Polish dish that can always be
found is bigos (long-cooked sauerkraut with
game meat in small pieces). Previously, bigos were
stored in barrels over the winter and if necessary, a
piece of the frozen dish was chopped and crushed. Other
popular foods are cold cuts, such as kabanosy
(thin and long sausages).
Poland belongs to the so-called "vodka belt". The
word "vodka" means "the little water" in Polish.
Nowadays, Poles drink beer more often than liquor. Wine,
on the other hand, is rarely used, as it is relatively
In Poland, some courtesy traditions have long lived,
such as men greeting women by kissing them on the hand.
The men hold the door for women and let them pass first,
women get on and off with the coat and men leave their
seats to women on the bus or tram if all other places
are occupied. For the situation of women in public life
and in workplaces, see Social conditions.
Holidays and Holidays
The Christian holidays are pretty much the same as in
Sweden: Easter, Pentecost, Halloween, Christmas and
Anniversary. But the national holidays are different.
May 3 is celebrated in memory of the Constitution of
1791 and Independence Day falls on November 11. Poles
often take long leave in connection with the third May
celebration. May 1st is celebrated in the same way as in
Sweden, with trains and speeches in the labor movement.
On November 2 (the day after Halloween, which always
falls on November 1), the day of all souls (which is not
a free day) occurs when light is lit on the graves.
There is usually congestion and traffic jams at
cemeteries and it looks tragic in the evening. Other
work-free days are New Year's Day (on the other hand,
not New Year's Eve and Christmas Eve), Christ's Body Day
(a Thursday in June) and September 15, which is Marie's
Children usually leave school for one week during
Christmas and New Year (December 23-January 1), two
weeks in winter (January 14-February 24, depending on
region), a few days in the spring (March 28-April 2) and
on summer vacation (June 29 - September 1).
Poles celebrate naming days, not birthdays.
Suspected corruption at government level
Police arrest 18 people suspected of being involved
in a corruption scandal surrounding the government's
purchase of computer systems. In the past, 17 people
have been prosecuted. Among the now arrested are an
official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and sales
managers at several IT companies. Investigators are
investigating the purchase of computer equipment and
services to the Ministry of the Interior and the
national police headquarters for the equivalent of more
than SEK 3 billion.
Right-wing protests against Russia
Right-wing nationalists demonstrate in Warsaw on
National Day November 11 and carry out violent protests
at the Russian embassy. Police shoot with rubber bullets
to disperse participants. 72 people are arrested. A few
days later, President Komorowski made an official
apology to Russia, which requested it.
The Minister for the Environment is replaced
Environment Minister Marcin Korolec is dismissed in a
government resignation when he chairs the UN
International Climate Summit in Warsaw. His successor
Maciej Grabowski is elected by Prime Minister Tusk to
accelerate the extraction of shale gas in Poland.
Former Prime Minister Mazowiecki's death
Poland's first prime minister after the fall of
communism (see Modern history), Tadeusz Mazowiecki, dies
at the age of 86.
Trade union protests against the government
The trade unions conduct four-day protests against
the government's labor market and wage policy. On the
fourth day, around 100,000 union members from all over
the country gather in Warsaw. The protesters are
protesting, among other things, against the increased
retirement age (see May 2012) and
demanding guarantees for jobs, healthcare and pension
Opposition candidate wins mayoral election
A representative of the opposition party PiS wins the
mayoral election in the city of Elbląg. The city has
been a stronghold for the government party Citizens'
Platform, and the result is interpreted as a hint that
the government's position is faltering.
The EU stops billion-dollar aid
Suspected corruption in major road construction
projects causes the EU to withhold infrastructure
support equivalent to SEK 7.7 billion to Poland.
According to new figures, economic growth is slowing