Polish New Year’s Traditions

Polish New Year traditions dictate celebrating the transition from the old year to the new one. Although it is not a day off of work, only New Year’s Day is a public holiday everybody finds a way to party the night away.
Poles call “New Year’s Eve” with the word “Sylwester”. It comes from Sylwester’s name day which falls on the 31st of December.

“New Year Same As New Year’s Eve” – Jaki Sylwester taki cały rok.

One custom is associated with New Year’s Eve, which greatly impacts the fact that the New Year’s Eve party is approached with such care. This custom says: “Jaki Sylwester’ taki cały rok” .

This means the New Year will be the same as New Year’s Eve. And that is why everyone tries to spend this night in the best atmosphere, with friends, family, and prosperity.

Both housewives and hosts of households contribute to the organization of this evening. Richly set tables with delicious food, decorations, balloons, and many more New Year’s gadgets decorate houses. And everyone waits for the party to begin.

Toast with champagne on New Year’s Eve

What Are Polish New Year Traditions?

How Did The Polish New Year Traditions Start?

Poland’s tradition of celebrating New Year’s Eve is not very old. The first celebration started at the end of the nineteenth century.

In the beginning, the custom of joyfully and loudly welcoming the New Year appeared mainly in cities. They were cannon salvos, and church bells tolled at midnight. Over time, people started gathering on the street with wishes and toast.

In the twentieth century, after Poland gained independence, Poles started to celebrate New Year’s in a more lavish style. Big and festive New Year’s Eve balls were organized in restaurants, public buildings, and privet villas.

How Did The Tradition Change Over Time?

After the war, there was no place for throwing big fancy balls, but people didn’t loos their spirit and celebrated essential moments.

Later, during the communist times, house parties with close friends and families gained popularity. Domówka – a house party has become the new way to celebrate happy and festive moments.

Nowadays Poles celebrate the New Year by attending balls in hotels and restaurants, partying at home with friends, or gathering on the street and joining outdoor events.

New Year’s Eve dinner

How Does The Polish New Year Traditions Look Like Now?

Nowadays Poles can enjoy and celebrate New Year’s Eve as only wish. There are plenty of opportunities and the preparation and planning start beginning of December.

Talks on what to wear, and where to go to parties take up as much time as the one about Christmas plans and gifts. As mentioned before house parties are very popular. A fancy dinner with the best foods, lots of New Year-themed decorations, and fancy champagne glasses is a must.

Music laughs, and dancing is always a part of a such night. At Midnight, bottles of champagne are opened. Everyone with a glass raises a toast and wishes one another a Happy New Year.

Outdoor Events

The outdoor events are being held in most towns in Poland for the New Year’s Party. The bigger the city, the more festive the event.

Main tv channels hold the biggest events with live music, entertainment, and spectacular fireworks shows. Those events are always open to the public and they always gather thousands of people in the cities like Warsaw, Krakow, or Zakopane.

Happy New Year! – Szczęśliwego Nowego roku!

“Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku!” These are the Polish words for Happy New Year! Click here if you want to learn how to pronounce it.

Another form of New Year’s wishes is:

Do siego roku! The meaning of this phrase literally means, until this year – may we live to see. In the past, “Until another yea”r” was a wish made not on New Year’s Day, but on Christmas Eve and concerned the last few days of the passing year.

In this way, people wished for health and happiness until the next year. Although Poles know this wish well, it is not very popular in use these days.

New Year’s Resolutions!

I don’t think there actually is a person who hasn’t done a New Year’s resolution at least once.

Poles are no different from this tradition from the rest of the world.

We promise to ourselves to start gym, quit smoking, eat better, spend less, exercise more, read more, or do yoga. We all make those promises to ourselves and most of us fail them. I guess it’s just how it is.

Old Polish New Year Tradition And Custome?

There are some customs that Poles believe will help them build prosperity in the New Year.

  • Early getting out of bed in the morning. They say that if you get up early on New Year’s Day then you will be getting up early all round
  • Giving the house a spring cleaning. this means you will keep your house clean throughout the whole year.
  • Wash in the water with a silver coin. This was supposed to bring happiness.
  • Looking out after a man to be the first visit to the house. Man- guests would also bring happiness to the household.

Those customs are not too popular today, but then again it wouldn’t hurt to practice some of them. Who knows, maybe it would its wonders…

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My name is Karolina, I was born and raised in Poland. I love my homeland. Even though I’ve been to 50+ countries in the world I’ve never hesitated to make Poland my base!

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