View Full Version : Sweet and Interesting Stuff About Poland

02-27-2012, 03:52 AM
Here are some little differences which may puzzle or surprise foreigners in
Poland. Some of these are still common:
__________________________________________________ ___________

• You might be requested to pay for using toilet in some restaurants or bars.
• Sending a parcel in the post office may require a special kind of string.
• Having to be quiet in your flat after 10 p.m. but being allowed to start loud work
again at 6 a.m.
• Flowers for every occasion (but always an uneven number!).
• Polish celebration of a name day.
• Christmas dinner is eaten on Christmas Eve often with the carp in jelly
• The direct translation of "I'm sorry, I'm afraid we haven't got any of that at the
moment, try again tomorrow or would you like me to order some for you" in a
shop is 'Nie ma' said in a tone of voice that makes you feel guilty for having even
• Despite the fact that a handshake is a typical greeting in Poland, some men might
kiss the women’s hands. Women (and sometimes men) who are close friends will
kiss each other on both cheeks.
• Time of eating meals differs considerably from that in other European countries.
Thus, breakfast is eaten early in the morning, then at about 4 p.m. there is usually
a two-course dinner (soup and the main course), finally supper is consumed at
about 7-8 p.m. (it often consists of sandwiches or yoghurts).There is no lunch
break at work.

As it takes time to understand the different behaviour in a new culture and know how to
react, here are some comments for newcomers:

• Poland is a very religious country and on a Sunday you will see huge crowds
going to church, young as well as old.
• The month before Christmas is a holy time (advent) . This is not time for parties.
Similarly, the time of Lent before Easter.
• You should cross the street at zebra crossings but watch out as cars sometimes
do not seem to have to stop!
• Lectures at the university may start sometimes 15 minutes later (so-called
'academic quarter' acceptable BUT NOT BY EVERYONE among university
students and teachers)
• Students usually wear formal clothes (often a white blouse/shirt and dark
skirt/trousers) during university exams.
• English is still not so common in Poland (not in the countryside at least), German
is more popular among middle-aged and older people.


• Three Kings Day – 6th of January, twelve days after Christmas. It is often viewed
as the last day of the Christmas season (the end of the 12 days of Christmas)
February/ March:
• Tłusty czwartek (Fat Thursday = Pancake Day) - celebrated on the last
Thursday of the carnival. On that day we bake, or more often buy and eat lots of
delicious doughnuts with marmalade.
• Ostatki, (Shrove Tuesday) - the last day of the carnival, just before the Lent.
Many people, especially youngsters, go out in the evening.
• Wielki Czwartek, Wielki Piątek, Wielka Sobota (Triduum Paschalne)
(Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday) - during the very last
three days of the Lent special ceremonies are held in churches. On Holy Saturday
we bring food packed in small baskets to church to be blessed.
• Lany poniedziałek (Easter Monday) - the Monday after Easter Sunday. Children
and adults pour water (sometimes perfumes or cologne) on one another, wish
good health and give small gifts.
• Prima Aprils (April Fools’ Day) - on the 1st of April. You can be sure that
somebody will try to pull your leg on this day!
• Boze Ciało - Corpus Christi - Day of Thanksgiving for the Institution of Holy
Communion - you can see processions led by children scattering flower petals.
• Sobótka - St. John's night in June. In villages, towns and cities located by a river,
lake or sea people gather at one place in the late evening to observe the spectacle
of wreaths decorated with burning candles floating on the water. Local
authorities often organise open air music concerts.
• Wszystkich Świętych (All Saints' Day) - 1st of November. People go to
cemeteries to light candles and pray for their relatives, friends or strangers who
have passed away.
• National Independence Day – 11th of November. This is the public holiday in
Poland, an anniversary of Poland's assumption of independent statehood in 1918
after 123 years of partitions by Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Russia.
• Andrzejki (St. Andrew's Day) - 30th of November. It is a very mysterious
evening - people, especially young girls, pour hot, melted wax into a bowl of cold
water, the shape of the melted wax tells the future. Other fortune-telling games
are played as well.
• Mikołajki (St. Nichola’s Day) - 6th of December. It's a sign of the coming
Christmas. Supposing that you were good it is very probable that early in the
morning you will find a gift in your shoes. They must be clean, of course!
• Christmas Eve - 24th of December. Before a solemn dinner we share a holy
wafer with one another. During the whole evening we sing Christmas carols. The
courses served are very special and usually associated with Christmas Eve
exclusively. Every region has its own dishes. Some people go to church for a
midnight mass.


• Our traditional dishes are schabowy (a pork chop), bigos (cabbage cooked with
vegetables and meat), gołąbki (chopped pork and rice wrapped up in a cabbage
leaf, then cooked in a tomato sauce) or pierogi (pasta with mushrooms, meat or
• For breakfast we usually have cereals, tea, coffee or milk, yoghurt, or toast,
sometimes sandwiches or eggs. Many people have lunch in the early afternoon.
Dinner, served in the late afternoon, is the main meal. Salads, potatoes, salad, rice
or pasta with meat are often served. A piece of cake or fruit is a good dessert.

Source: http://www.mug.edu.pl/attachment/attachment/1512/Guide_2011-2012.pdf

02-28-2012, 07:40 AM
this is a great post since I'm thinking about applying to universities in Poland!
Thank you

08-13-2019, 04:25 AM
Thanks for such an informative post! I've also found some interesting facts. Did you know that it's the 9th largest country in Europe? Its name has a meaning, "Polska" is translated as "people leaving in the open fields". Also, Polish Constitution was the second one in the world and a modern kerosene lamp was first invented by a Polish engineer. During the WWII Warsaw was almost entirely destroyed and had to be rebuilt completely. Marie Curie was Polish. The list of interesting stuff is huge but I found these facts the most capturing ones.

Copyright © 2003-2018 ValueMD, LLC. All rights reserved.