Czerwiec | June in Poland

15 Feb 2024

The Polish month of Czerwiec takes its name from Czerwiec Polski, known in English as 'Polish Cochineal', a small insect that was once used to make red dye. Known colloquially as 'Saint John's blood', material produced of this colour was widely traded during the Middle Ages and Renaissance and considered of high value.

For this reason, the word for colour red in Polish is 'Czerwony', and the etymology of all the afore-mentioned words is derived from the Old Slavic word *čŕvь, which once referred to any kind of larvae. And when do larvae like Cochineal start laying their eggs? That's right! In Czerwiec!

The first day of Czerwiec is International Children's Day, first introduced in Poland in 1952, and the first week of the month is a time of festivities organised in parks and other entertainment centres for children. The first half of Czerwiec also sees the observance of Boże Ciało (ENG: Corpus Christi) a Catholic celebration known for its characteristic processions between the 'stations of cross', each symbolising the path of Jesus to his imminent crucifixion. Poland does things in its own colourful way, complete traditional costumes and other pageantry.

A Corpus Christi (PL: Boże Ciało) procession in Poland, featuring young women in traditional Polish dress,

On a completely different note, the second half of Czerwiec welcomes the start of Summer, and those old Pagan traits that Poland can't seem to let go of come into play once again! Noc Kupały (ENG: Kupala Night) is an old Slavic celebration that is better known in Poland as Wianki, referencing the traditional flower wreaths that young women still wear on special occasions, even now in the 21st century! Wianki has since been adopted into the Christian tradition of Noc Świętojańska (ENG: St. John's Night), though the paganess of it all remains popular during celebrations in cities like Kraków and Gdynia, the latter of which is a fully-blown beach party and concert! 

In the midst of all these cultural and religious celebrations, we mustn't forget that the 23rd of Czerwiec is Father's Day (ENG: Dzień Ojca), and just for the record, in order to be a 'real man' in Polish society, you must "build a house, plant a tree, and have a son". Though, in the 21st century, we're pretty sure we can extend that privilege to having daughters as well!

Last but not least, Strawberry season the end of Czerwiec and the start of Lipiec (ENG: July) is strawberry season in Poland, and Poland has some damn good strawberries! 

Check out other months in the Polish Calendar Year!

Styczeń (January)
Luty (February)
Marzec (March)
Kwiecień (April)
Maj (May)
Czerwiec (June)
Lipiec (July)
Sierpień (August)
Wrzesień (September)
Październik (October)
Listopad (November)
Grudzień (December)


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