May 2 – National Flag Day in Poland

Posted May 2, 2015

 Poland's Flag Day was created only a few years ago (in 2004). It celebrates the end of the Battle of Berlin in World War II – actually, pretty much the end of Nazi Germany. On this date in 1945, the Polish Army raised the Polish flag on the Berlin Victory Column.

Like many national flags, Poland's flag is a simple two-color design. And like many nations, Poland has had to fight off or overthrow invaders more than 40 times from 1600 to modern times!

In the late 1700s, Poland was in the forefront of some modern reforms. For example, in 1773 King Stanislaw II established the first government education authority in Europe. A decade later Poland became the first nation in the entire world to prohibit corporal punishment (paddling and whipping, for example) in all schools. Finally, Poland's May 3 Constitution (1791) was the first set of modern national laws in Europe...But the constitution was only in place for less than a year and a half before Russian Empress Catherine II deemed Poland a problem and started the Polish-Russian War.

Here are some cool or fun things to know about Poland:

  • Not sure if it's true, but I read in several places that the average grocery store in Poland has larger candy sections than any other section.

  • The Wawel castle was built in the 1300s and currently displays the only piece of the Polish Crown Jewels that still exists: the “Jagged Sword.” The sword is called “jagged” because it has a notch or slit designed to hold a small shield. The blade is not jagged – it's smooth and straight.

By the way, the awesome Jadwiga,
who was crowned KING (not queen)
of Poland at age 10,
lived in the Wawel castle.
  • The Slowinski National Park is on the Baltic coast, and it has wetlands, wildlife, and moving sand dunes. One thing people like to do there is sandboard!

  • The Wieliczka Salt Mine is pretty amazing – there is an underground “city” carved out of the rock salt, including this chapel, which is supposed to have better acoustics than any other structure in Europe! Also, the salt mine is considered one of the oldest companies in the world, because salt has been mined from it continuously since the 13th Century.

    (Yeah, that's the 1200s – more than 700 years!)

To be honest, the salt mining part stopped in 2007, but the company still exists – as a tourist attraction!!

  • This cheese is beautifully carved – but apparently still delicious.
  • I've mentioned before that mountain beauty is my favorite flavor of beauty – and Poland has some very nice Tatra Mountains!

Also on this date:

Maytime Hobby Horses 

Plan ahead:

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