Do you know the days of the week in Polish? Would you like to learn what each day’s name means? And do you know that Poles have some rituals accustomed to each day of the week? I gathered for you all the interesting and funny information here.
Firstly, the week in the Polish calendar, starts on Monday and ends on Sunday. This rule was set by ISO and all Europe follows this regulation. However, according to Christian tradition, the first day of the week is Sunday. And that is important to know in order to understand the meaning of Polish names for the weekdays.
Here’s a video I made about Polish week days:
Table of Contents
Days Of The Week
Poniedzialek (po-nie-dgha-ooekh) -Monday
This is the first day of the week, and it’s hard to find someone who would like it.
This is the first working day after the weekend, and the first day of the school week, And that alone, explains why poniedziałek is hard to like.
The meaning of the word: poniedziałek.
I mentioned already, that it matters to understand, that within Christian culture, Sunday was originally the first day of the week. In Polish, Sunday is called niedziela. And the meaning of the word poniedziałek is the day after Sunday, “po” in Polish means “after”, therefore po-niedziałek.
The holidays assimilated with Poniedzialek is “poniedzialek wilekanocny’ which translates to Easter Monday.
Monday is tomato soup day. Why? Traditional Sunday soup is chicken broth – rosół. And it makes a perfect base for tomato soup. So on Monday, nearly every family has a tomato soup for dinner.
Monday tends to be a slow day for restaurants, entertainment, leisure, etc. so some of them do not open their door for business on this day at all.
Wtorek (vto-rekh)- Tuesday
Wtorek is an easy word to pronounce, and if you are familiar with Slavic languages, you will easily understand where it comes from.
The Polish word for secondary/next is wtórny, and wtorek means exactly this – a second day after Sunday.
Środa (Shro-da)— Wednesday
The word środek, in Polish, means the middle. And this is exactly what środa is, a day in the middle of the week.
Wednesday is the day when, statistically, most Poles search for jobs, and most job interviews are held.
A holiday associated with this day is Środa Popielcowa, Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of the Lenten period leading up to Easter.
The Holly Wednesday or Spy Wednesday in Polish is called Wielka Środa which means, “Great Wednesday”. On this day, Easter break start for schools, and it lasts until the Wednesday after Easter.
Czwartek (tchvar -tekh)- Thursday
Czwartek is the fourth day of the week. The word czwarty in Polish means fourth, so the analogy is straightforward.
Statistic says, that Thursday is the day when Poles do their sports activities, I just wonder, maybe it’s because the week is heading towards the end, so it’s like the last call to get moving.
The most popular czwartek in Polish calendar, is “Tłusty Czwartek” which means” fat Thursday”. It is a tradition to have donuts on this day, loads of them. This is the Thursday before the Big Lent starts.
Piątek (peeon-tekh) – Friday
Piątek is the fifth day of the week. The word piąty in Polish means: fifth, therefore, piątek means the fifth day of the week.
Piątek is the last of the five official working days and the last day of school. Kids love it, and people work in corporates too. Friday evening is popular for Poles to go to bars, have a drink, and relax after a long week.
Friday is also the fasting day. Many people keep this tradition and don’t eat meat.
Sobota (so-boh-ta) – Saturday
The word sobota, as in many languages, is derived from Shabbat – a holly day celebrated by the followers of Judaism and some Christian churches too.
Sobota is the first day of the weekend. Kids don’t go to school, but very often they involve in sports activity or simply go out to see their friends.
Sobota is typically a day dedicated to chores around the house. Cleaning, laundry, food shopping, small maintenance, grass mowing, and pet grooming. Once ale this is done, Poles, like most people in Eastern culture plan their Saturday evenings to go out, have fun and relax, and spent time with friends or family.
Niedziela (Neea-dghe-la) – Sunday
The word niedziela derives from the old Slavic word niedelati which means “no working”, and it has always been a rest day. It carried on to the Christian culture.
What is a typical Sunday like in Poland? It includes three basic things, the church, family lunch, and rosol.
The majority of Polish people are practicing Catholics, and whole families go to church for Sunday’s mess.
The family lunch is also a strong tradition, and families gather, usually at the grandparents’ homes. The one dish that is always served on Sunday is rosół. It is a chicken broth with macaroni. A homemade dessert served after lunch is another common tradition for a Sunday getting-together.
Sunday afternoon, Poles often spend going for a stroll to the park or take kids to playgrounds. The less active ones indulge in family shows on TV. Shopping centers are closed on Sunday, so the popular in many countries way of spending free time in shopping malls, in Poland, is not possible.
Traditions vs. Day-To-Day Life
The tradition, and habits related to each day are rather typical for Poles, but nowadays not all families practice them. Many people moved away from the family home, and Sunday gatherings can’t be done every weekend.
And of course, there are people that don’t work Monday-Friday jobs, therefore weekends in their homes don’t look like the one I describe above. But many things are still vivid and practiced, giving the comfort of repetition and prediction of what’s next to come.
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