Poles celebrate May 3rd Constitution Day

Poland’s annual three-day May break continued on Sunday with Constitution Day, recalling a landmark progressive constitution passed 224 years ago on 3 May 1791.

Obchody konstytucji 3 maja w Warszawie fot. Tomasz Gzell/EPA

Obchody konstytucji 3 maja w Warszawie fot. Tomasz Gzell/EPA

Patriotic processions, parades and gatherings are being held nationwide, aided by a sunny spell across much of the country.

President Bronislaw Komorowski and First Lady Anna Komorowski took part in tributes on Sunday morning at Warsaw’s St John’s Cathedral, at a mass led by Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz.

The pioneering 3 May constitution was considered a threat to the European status quo by Russia, Austria and Prussia, especially in the light of the French Revolution, and the Polish reforms hastened the dismemberment of Poland by the aforementioned countries.

Karl Marx reflected on the 3 May Constitution that it was “initiated exclusively by the privileged classes” and that “the history of the world knows no other example of similar noble conduct by the nobility.”

However, although the 3 May became a public holiday after Poland was reborn following World War I, the holiday was banned by the Moscow-backed communist regime that took power after World II.

It was only in April 1990 that the 3 May holiday was reinstated. (nh)


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