Constitution Day is an official public holiday in Poland.
On May 3, 1791, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth’s constitution was adopted. It was the first constitution in modern Europe and second in the world, following the American one. It was a significant achievement of the Polish Enlightenment thinkers.
May 3 was established as a holiday only days after the constitution was passed by the Grand Sejm (Polish Parliament). It was later suspended for many years due to the country’s partitioning, but was reinstituted after Poland regained its freedom in 1918. After World War II, in 1946, the communist authorities banned the holiday’s public celebration. The holiday was officially cancelled in 1951. Since 1990 the May 3 holiday has again been celebrated as an official statutory holiday in Poland.
Constitution Day is part of a holiday season known as Majówka, which also includes the May 1/Labor Day holiday. It is celebrated with military parades, spring concerts and family picnics. Many people also gather at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Grób Nieznanego Żołnierza) at the Piłsudski Square in Warsaw. The monument is dedicated to unknown soldiers who gave their lives for Poland.
Polish-American Community of Toledo (PACT) and Toledo Poznan Alliance (TPA)
Annual Scholarship Competition ends May 31, 2018
The Polish-American Community of Toledo (PACT) and the Toledo Poznan Alliance (TPA) have announced that their Annual Scholarship Competition to award $4,000 to area Polish-American students is currently underway.
Over the past seven years over $20,000 in scholarship money has been awarded to students of Polish-American heritage in the Toledo area.
The competition is divided into two categories — High School and College. Applicants must fill out an application form and submit an essay. The high school category is for students in grades 8 – 12. Their essay topic is “What is the meaning of your Polish American heritage?” The college category is for undergraduate students and the topic of their essay is “What individual or event associated with Polish culture has impacted you, your community, or country the most, and why?”
Those interested in applying have until May 31, 2018 to complete a Scholarship Application Form and submit it along with their essay.
If a public high school student is awarded a scholarship, funds will be placed in escrow until the student attends college.
Former scholarship winners are not eligible to receive another scholarship in the same category. For instance, a high school winner cannot receive another scholarship competing in the high school category. However, the student could re-apply and could win while attending college.
Click on the Scholarship link on the right to download and print this year’s application.
Another Christmas season means another Christmas Eve vigil (Wigilia). This year, PACT and TPGS (Toledo Polish Genealogy Society) once again teamed up to mark the most important day of the Christmas season for Polish people. Wigilia traditions this year included lighting of the first candle, sharing of oplatek, and a meatless meal of traditional Polish dishes. Guest speaker Lidia Ebersole gave us a look into Wigilia in Poland. She is a native of Poland and has spent 26 years celebrating Christmas in her homeland. Now as a citizen of the US, she shared her in depth knowledge and experience of the traditions her family follows during this most sacred time. She also shared many of her personal pictures of Christmas in Poland. Stan Machosky and Jackie Konwinski were the emcees of the evening and Gayle Sparagowski worked tirelessly in the kitchen to deliver a delicious meal. Kolendy (Christmas Carols) were lead by Rob Szczublewski, John Drozdowski and Lidia Ebersole. Thank you to all who helped with the preparations for this year’s Wigilia and to John Drozdowski for taking photos.