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The 15th of August Holiday

The Assumption of the Virgin Mary and the Day of the Polish Armed Forces, related to the anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw of 1920, also known as the ‘Miracle of the Vistula’, are celebrated in Poland on 15 September.

The Assumption of the Virgin Mary, in Poland also referred to as the Day of the ‘Herbal’ Mother of God, is celebrated in the Catholic Church all over the world. In Poland, it is usually connected with the custom of blessing and offering gifts of herbs, cereals, vegetables and flowers. Blessed harvest is intended to ensure security and harmony at home. It is a public holiday.

On 15 August, all churches hold solemn masses. On that day, foot pilgrimages from all acrossPoland reach the sanctuary at Jasna Góra inCzęstochowa. Praying and singing, pilgrims cover up to several hundred kilometres in less than twenty days. Apart from foot pilgrimages, also pilgrims on bicycles and roller skates travel to the Jasna Góra Monastery.

Also on 15 August, the Day of the Polish Armed Forces is celebrated to commemorate the Battle of Warsaw. The battle won byPoland, fought from 12 to 25 August 1920 during the Polish-Soviet war, is considered a breakthrough in the history of the world. It not only decided on the Polish independence, but also prevented communism and Soviet totalitarianism from spreading all overEurope.

On this day, masses for soldiers who died on battlefields are held in military churches, and a roll of honour is called on cemeteries. In Warsaw, an Honorary Change of the Guard attended by state authorities is held in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

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