TRADITIONAL HOLIDAYS WERE SUBSTITUTED BY SECULAR ONES. WOULD THE YOUNG GENERATION OF THE 21ST CENTURY LIKE TO TAKE PART IN THEM?

by Marta Barankiewicz (1996), Anna Matyja (1995), LOK Krakow/Poland

In Poland traditional holidays were substituted by secular ones. The Soviet government changed Catholic celebrations into political ones. We think that the young people of the 21st century in our country would not like to take part in them.

First, we think our Catholic celebrations are magic and a part of our typical folklore. The Soviet government liquidated two Catholic holidays important to the Polish people: on 6th of January- Three Kings’ Day and on 15th of August – the Assumption of Mary. For Polish people religion and God mean devotion and attachment. Faith for hard-working people was an enormous support. On Christmas Eve Father Frost came to Polish children, but earlier it was traditional Santa Claus. The Father Frost was great, but in our opinion he was unnecessary, because we had Santa Claus who also brought lots of sweets.

We had to celebrate, for example, on 7th of November, the anniversary of October Revolution, on 12th of October, the Army Day instead of our Independence Day on 11th of November. The young people would prefer to commemorate the Independence Day. People tried to show their independence and bond with their homeland. The Soviet government liquidated our Independence Day. It’ s the most important holiday to us. It’s a symbol of victory and bravery of Polish soldiers. Soviet people wanted to change our celebrations to more political ones, but Polish people know their history very well. We want to celebrate holidays which are connected with our culture and tradition.

Communism was a very hard time for our nation. People had lots of problems and they had to worry about their future. Festivals were nice events and a relaxing thing. All the time we had to struggle against the Soviet strength, but we were constant and obstinate and it led us to our victory. The young generation want to remember about their traditions and folklore. Our culture is really unique. We would not like to take part in secular celebrations introduced by Soviets, because we have beautiful Polish customs we are proud of.

3 Responses to “TRADITIONAL HOLIDAYS WERE SUBSTITUTED BY SECULAR ONES. WOULD THE YOUNG GENERATION OF THE 21ST CENTURY LIKE TO TAKE PART IN THEM?”

  1. At first I want to say that your article could be used to describe situation in Lithuania during soviet times. Communists liquidated Catholic and national festivities in Lithuania, too.
    I don’t know everything about soviet times in Poland, but in our country soviets transformed some churches into warehouses. That was the way how to show people that “God is nothing”, but some of lithuanians became more religious than ever!
    And finally, talking about your article, I think that it’s really good! You gave lots of information and illustrations. :)

  2. I think that your text is great. It’s well written and there are lots of nice pictures. I liked the way you explained communism in you country :)

  3. First of all, I like your article facing the danger of communism in general. Not only did the Soviet government liquidate important memorial days like your Independence Day, but also the individuality of every single person. They indoctrinated the people to avoid political opposition. Considering the catholic celebrations, I think they also feared the power of the church and the fact that people may believe more in their religious values than the political ideologies. As they knew the peole love their religious festivals, they tried to change them in a clever way. Fortunately, in present day Poland you are allowed to express you opinion freely.