Polish Diaspora Day Date in the current year: May 2, 2018

Polish Diaspora Day Polish Diaspora Day (Dzień Polonii i Polaków za Granicą, literally “the Day of the Polish Diaspora and Poles Abroad”) is an official holiday established by the Sejm of the Republic of Poland in 2002. It is celebrated on May 2, coinciding with the country’s Flag Day.

The Sejm established Polish Diaspora Day to support the initiative of the Polish Senate and in recognition of the long-standing achievements and contributions of the Polish diaspora and Poles abroad to the restoration of Poland’s independence, their willingness to help the country in the most difficult moments, and their loyalty and attachment to Polish language and culture. Like other statutory holidays, Polish Diaspora Day is not a day off unless it falls on a weekend.

In the modern Polish language, the Polish diaspora is known as Polonia, which is the name for Poland in Latin and many other Romance languages. It is one of the largest and most widely dispersed national diasporas in the world: there are about 20 million people of Polish ancestry living on all inhabited continents.

There are many reasons for such displacement, including forced expulsions and resettlement, border shifts, and economic and political factors. Poles were among the first European settlers in the Americas. In the 17th century, first Polish missionaries arrived in Japan. A lot of Poles had to leave the country after the three Partitions of Poland in 1772, 1790 and 1795 due to ethnic persecutions by Austria, Prussia and Russia.

The most recent large migration of Poles occurred when Poland joined the European Union: approximately 2 million Poles, primarily young people, took up jobs abroad, taking advantage of the opening of the EU’s labor market.

Most Poles live in Europe, the Americas and Australia. Smaller communities can be found in Asia, Africa and Oceania, they mostly consist of Catholic missionaries and economic migrants. The world’s largest Polish communities are in the United States, the UK, Germany, Brazil, Belarus, France, Canada, and Israel (mainly Polish Jews and members of their families who came to Israel under the Law of Return).

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Category

Cultural Observances

Country

Poland

Tags

Polish Diaspora Day, holidays in Poland, statutory holiday, Day of the Polish Diaspora and Poles Abroad