National Independence Day of Poland
For me it was a surprise; and I need to say that not very pleasant one, because if you are living in a country, you just want to know at least the most important dates (like National Independence Day), so you could fit in the society, celebrating together, being accepted… When I found out that this important event was few days ago, I felt sad, really sad and robbed… That’s why I looked for some information when what is happening! That leads to 11th of November.
94 years ago, in 1918, on November 11 Poland regained its independence from 124 years of captivity and partitions by three empires – Russia, Germany (Prussia) and Austria. This date was celebrated by allies - England, France and the United States as the Armistice Day, the day on which a long and bloody war finally ended. The date of 11 November was announced as a national holiday only in 1937, but since 1939 to 1989, celebration of the holiday was forbidden. After the collapse of communist government, the holiday gained particular significance and is a day to remember all those, who did so much to regain freedom for Poland. I know just one very important figure – Józef Klemens Piłsudski – he was a Polish statesman, “First Marshal” and also the leader of the Second Polish Republic. Nowadays mayor celebrations are held in Warsaw at Piłsudski Square, where also attend Polish State authorities. When I asked about celebration in other cities, I received an answer, that it’s a National holiday, Poles know why it’s a red date in calendar, but there are no clear what means “to be a patriot”… I’m happy that now I know why this is so important day in Poland, and want to share with information, why this is so important day in Latvia!
In Latvia 11th November is “The Bear Slayer Day” or Lāčpleša Day, day, when people in Latvia commemorate defenders and those who defeated army of Bermont in this date in 1919. In nowadays in this special day people light candles all across Latvia (putting in windows and in special memorial sites) and remember all those fighters that fell for freedom and independence of Latvia.
The name Lāčpleša Day comes from a military award - the Order of Bear Slayer, which was established to honour the soldiers, but the name of order comes from heroic epoch “Lāčplešis” (Bear Slayer) - hero who was immortalized in literature by the poet Andrejs Pumpurs.
Independence Day of Latvia
Just seven days later than Poland, Latvia declared its independence - on the 18th November 1918.
- Polska: official promotional website of the Republic of Poland >> here.
- Poland’s Independence Day – November 11, 1918 >> here.
- Latvia - Lāčplēša Day >> here.
- November 11 in Latvia >> here.