Valentine's Day versus Women's Day in Poland

Valentine's Day (in Polish: Walentynki) has not been celebrated in Poland until very recently. Only after the collapse of the Eastern European Block and the consequent opening of Poland's borders this well known, especially in English-language cultures holiday entered Polish society. Romantic Poles were very quick in adopting Valentines Day and nowadays it as popular in Poland as anywhere else.

As a result, men in Poland are now "burdened" with two occasions to adore their ladies with gifts and flowers, as the old custom of Women's Day (Dzien Kobiet) is still very popular as it used to be in the communist times. It is celebrated on March the 8th of each year. Women's Day is the old Polish version of the Valentine's Day with the one difference that all women are on the receiving side while all men are on the giving side. While the Valentine's Day is more privately celebrated between the lovers, the Women's Day is celebrated more as a national holiday for all women, whether they are 8, or 80 years old. At that day all women in Poland receive special attention (usually in the form of flowers) not only privately, but also at schools and at work (hospitals, offices, etc.). In addition to flowers, they sometimes receive greeting cards, which are not that popular in Poland as they are in North America.

Unfortunately American women are not getting any special attention on March the 8th. But whoever wants to adore his lady with a nice greeting card "with a Polish touch" in addition to flowers, they can get Handmade Valentine's Cards Made in Poland.

It is interesting how popular greeting cards are in North America. In Poland people do not send greetings cards to their friends or family who live in the same town like here in the US. Here in America we do not only send them to far away places where we cannot communicate the message personally, but we often take a greeting card with us to hand it personally to the addressee. For example, when we go to a wedding, or a birthday party, in addition to flowers or a gift, we also bring a greeting card. In effect the married couple, or the "birthday kid" gets the greetings twice - first directly while receiving the flowers or a small gift, and a kiss in the cheek or a handshake; then again, the greetings are also delivered inside the greeting card. What is even more interesting, a few days later the guest often sends to the host a Thank You note in a form of another card. Not to mention, that all the guests have also received Invitations before the event.

This double exposure is very characteristic to the North American culture. However, certain things are also happening twice in Poland - at least for the ladies. An example is the Valentine's Day followed by the Women's Day three weeks later.

There are no Men's Day in Poland and the Father's Day, although also exists, is almost unknown; unlike the very popular Mother's Day. Isn't it nice to be born a woman in Poland?

This article was written by Jan Koncewicz, originally from GDANSK, Poland
and now living in Vancouver, BC, where he owns Amber Art Work COMPANY
and sells wholesale and retail at amber-market

Check the articles devoted to women issues, family and dating, savoir vivre and good manners in Poland and flowers for any occasions.

Check a funny and interesting but also truthful book about Poles The Xenophobe's Guide to the Poles, by Ewa Lipniacka (Author)

Here is another book for all who are in love:
Treasury of Classic Polish Love Short Stories: In Polish and English, by Miroslaw Lipinski

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