November 11th marked 102 years of Polish Independence from when the nation regained its sovereignty from the occupation of the German, Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empires in 1918. In fact, during the 18th century Poland ceased to exist for a period of 123 years, only remerging at the end of WWI. However, this date has not been an annual celebration due to the communist occupation that followed the end of WWII.
This is where confusion arises regarding the two crucial national holidays held in Poland; the Independence Day and Solidarity Day. The latter is celebrated on August 31st, marking the date the trade union ‘Solidarity’ was founded and contributed to the demise of the communist rule. Following this, the new liberal government reinstated the celebration of Polish Independence Day, with both days continuing to be celebrated annually.