Identity Card - Poland
- Anthem (lyrics)
Modern official lyrics
Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła,
Poland has not yet perished,
- Map (location)
- 10 historic dates (most important for the political development of each country)
- 966 - Duke Mieszko I, the historically recognised founder of the Polish state, adopts Catholic Christianity.
- 1025 - Boleslaw I proclaims the Kingdom of Poland.
- 1569 - Poland signs Union of Lublin with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to establish the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a major power in Europe unusual for its powerful parliament of noblemen and its elected kings.
- 1772 - The Commonwealth is subjected to the first of three major partitions by its neighbours Prussia, Russia and Austria following an anti-Russian revolt.
- 1791-1793 - A programme of political and social reform culminates in the 3 May Constitution in 1791, which promises civil rights to the urban and peasant population of the Commonwealth. Russia invades to prevent liberal change. Prussia also sends in troops, and the two powers carry out a second partition in 1793.
- 1807 - Napoleon creates the Duchy of Warsaw as a client state to rally Polish support for his cause.
- 1815 - The Congress of Vienna creates a rump Kingdom of Poland, ruled by Russia.
- 1918 - Independent Polish state restored after the end of World War I. Marshal Jozef Pilsudski becomes head of state.
- 1939 - Nazi Germany invades Poland. Beginning of World War II as the United Kingdom declares war on Germany in response to the invasion. The Soviet Union invades from the east. Germany and the Soviet Union divide Poland between them and treat Polish citizens with extreme brutality. Germany begins systematic persecution of the large Jewish population.
- 1989 - Round-table talks between Solidarity, the Communists and the Catholic Church. Partially free elections see widespread success for Solidarity, which helps form coalition government.
- 5 traditional songs (lyrics)
- "Szła dzieweczka" (traditional song from Silesia)
- "Hej, bystra woda" (folk song from Tatra mountains)
- "Lajkonik" (popular children's song in the rhytm of krakowiak - Cracow dance )
- "Karolinka" (folk song from Silesia)
- 5 traditions
Blessing of the Easter baskets
Probably one of the most enduring and beloved Polish traditions on Holy Saturday – not only in Poland but also within Polish communities all around the world. The name of this custom might sounds mysterious but it’s nothing more than blessing the food that will be eaten during the Easter feast. Of course, you won’t spot people bringing tables full of many traditional dishes right to the front of the church (it would be funny though) instead, a small amount of the most important food like eggs, bread, meat and butter are put inside the basket. It’s a very important tradition in Polish culture so you can often spot entire families participating in it.
In Poland eggs are not only used as food on the table. As well, they’re an important part of the Easter tradition. Children decorate them with paints, crayons, stickers, tissue-paper etc. After they’re ready they are used as a decoration for the Easter table and they’re also a part of the Easter bucket.
If you’re a girl you better read these words carefully! This is a day when young boys set up small (ok…not small. huge.) groups and they hunt for girls to…use their water guns against them. That’s right – they literally do everything they can to make them all wet. Don’t be surprised when you see a small boy running around with the big bucket of water ready to pour it out on a random girl he sees. The most dangerous places during that day? Churches, parks, small streets, squares.
St. Andrew Day - Andrzejki in Poland
Shoes race – everyone in a group take off their shoes. Your next task is to go to the furthest wall from the doors and by putting one shoe at a time in front of each other in the direction of the door. The first shoe which crosses the doorstep belongs to the person who will soon change their marital status.
Picking (literally) the name of your future husband or wife – take a sheet of paper and write as many names of opposite sex as you can (the paper very often is shaped like a heart). Then turn it back to your friends and let put a pin into the back of the paper. The name which is the closest to the pin is your future husband or wife’s name (in some Polish regions you put the pin in the paper yourself).
Sharing Christmas wafer – usually takes place before the main supper. During this moment, family members wish all the best to each other. Even if they don’t like each other.
Serving twelve dishes (referring to the twelve apostles) – well, the truth is that Christmas is really about food and eating great things. In reference to the twelve apostles there should be twelve dishes on the Christmas table. What you can find there? Herrings in cream and oil, cabbage with peas, carp (probably the most popular fish in Poland to be served during Christmas and, what’s interesting, is not really eaten any other day of the year ), dumplings (pierogi!), borscht with…pierogi and much more (pierogi for example)! The meal traditionally doesn’t consist of any meat except fish. Every dish should be at least tried as it brings good luck for the upcoming 12 months of the new year
Preparing an extra seat for the unexpected guest – in case a homeless person or a traveller from far, far away comes to your home during Christmas Eve, an extra seat and cutlery is prepared so if such a person comes, they can join the hosts and celebrate the holidays.
- Gastronomy and typical products (10)
Bigos is a traditional stew (Hunter's Stew) and is considered to be the national dish of Poland. There are many different recipes and they may vary from region to region. Typically, Bigos includes sauerkraut, various meats and sausages, tomatoes, honey and mushrooms. For meats, you can have bacon, beef, pork, ham or veal. Bigos is considered a "perpetual stew" which means it can be kept in a pot for a week or more. The taste of this stew actually intesifies each time it is reheated.
Pierogi are boiled dumplings stuffed with varying ingredients. After they are boiled, they are fried with butter and finely chopped onions. They can be filled with potato and cheese, mushrooms, and even fruit.
Wild Mushroom Soup
A hearty soup made with mushrooms.
Cabbage rolls wrapped around minded pork or beef meat, chopped onions and rice. They are usually baked with a spicey tomato sauce.
A small square pasta with wheat, poppy seeds, nuts, raisins and honey. Typically served during Christmas.
This is the Polish equivalent to a doughnut. It is a deep-fried piece of dough shaped i nto a flattened sphere and filled with fruit preserves. Most commonly, they are filled with a stewed plum jam or wild rose hip jam. The top can be either covered in glazed or powdered sugar. In Poland, the last Thursday before Lent is known as Paczki Day. (It can also be referred to as Greasy Thursday or Fat Thursday.) It is similar to the American tradition of Fat Tuesday.
Patry Twist. This is a sweet, crispy fried pastry straw also known as a "chrust" of "Angel Wing." It resembles a twisted ribbon and like Paczki, is popular during Fat Thursday.
Sweet jelly. It's made from fruit juices and served as a cold dessert. It's also used on decorative cakes and is usually the top layer of a sponge cake with cream.
Sweet poppy cake. This isn't a strick holiday bread, but it is a classic Polish dessert that's commonly served during the holidays.
These are Polish gingerbread cookies. These soft gingerbread shapes are filled with marmalade of different fruit flavours and covered with chocolate.
- 5 personalities (political, cultural, economic…)
- Nicolaus Copernicus Polish: Mikołaj Kopernik; German: Nikolaus Kopernikus; 19 February 1473 – 24 May 1543) was a Renaissance mathematician and astronomer who formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at the center of the universe. The publication of this model in his book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) just before his death in 1543 is considered a major event in the history of science, triggering the Copernican Revolution and making an important contribution to the Scientific Revolution.
- Marie Skłodowska Curie, (7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934), born Maria Salomea Skłodowska, was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, the only person to win twice in multiple sciences, and was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris.
- Frédéric François Chopin (1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849), born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin, was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era who wrote primarily for the solo piano. He gained and has maintained renown worldwide as a leading musician of his era, whose "poetic genius was based on a professional technique that was without equal in his generation." Chopin was born in what was then the Duchy of Warsaw and grew up in Warsaw, which in 1815 became part of Congress Poland. A child prodigy, he completed his musical education and composed his earlier works in Warsaw before leaving Poland at the age of 20, less than a month before the outbreak of the November 1830 Uprising.
Lech Wałęsa ,( born 29 September 1943) is a retired Polish politician and labor activist. He co-founded and headed Solidarity (Solidarność), the Soviet bloc's first independent trade union, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and served as President of Poland from 1990 to 1995.
- Władysław Bartoszewski; 19 February 1922 – 24 April 2015) was a Polish politician, social activist, journalist, writer and historian. A former Auschwitz concentration camp prisoner, he was a World War II resistance fighter as part of the Polish underground and participated in the Warsaw Uprising. After the war he was persecuted and imprisoned by the communist Polish People's Republic due to his membership of the Home Army and opposition activity.
- EU integration
2003 June - Poles vote in referendum in favour of joining EU.
2004 May - Poland is one of 10 new states to join the EU.