The aim of Polish Heritage Days is to promote and celebrate Polish culture, heritage of the past generations and the positive role and contribution made by the near-million members of the Polish diaspora to the cultural, economic and social life in the United Kingdom, as part of the Day of Poles Abroad and the Flag Day celebrated on 2nd May as well as the 3rd of May Constitution Day. 2019 is a very special and significant year in the history of Poland and the United Kingdom. This year we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the establishment of the official Polish-British diplomatic relations and the 100th anniversary of the renewal of the bilateral Polish-British relations. Therefore, all Polish organisations, Roman Catholic parishes and Saturday schools in the UK are encouraged to actively take part in the celebrations.
The Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in London Arkady Rzegocki said: “I would like to warmly invite everyone to join us in the Polish Heritage Days celebrations which for the third time will take place across the whole of the United Kingdom around the 3rd of May Constitution Day. Let’s share our culture and heritage with our neighbours, let’s challenge stereotypes, let’s showcase our openness, tolerance, and engagement in the life of local communities in the United Kingdom. We have a choice of around 150 declared events which will be organised by the Polish community together with our British friends and neighbours in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. I hope that, as we celebrate Polish Heritage Days, we can share with our British friends the richness of our culture and tradition.”
This year’s edition will see a great diversity of celebrations among these events taking place in more than 50 British towns and cities. History enthusiasts can choose from such events as a lecture about the most famous Polish spy Krystyna Skarbek, a showcase of the film “Lady Sue Ryder of Warsaw” and an exhibition about the pilots of 303 Polish Squadron. For those interested in sailing, the highlight of the Polish Heritage Days will definitely be the Ambassador’s Cup Regatta and a yacht parade on the Isle of Wight. Sport fans will be able to take part in a number of events, including volleyball, football and rugby matches and also take part in go-kart races. Book and art lovers will have an opportunity to meet writers and artists and visit numerous exhibitions in art galleries and cultural centres. Many festivals, picnics, Polish specialties’ tasting as well as Polish language workshops also await everyone who would like to get to know Polish culture and heritage.
The official symbol of the initiative is the red-and-white chequerboard, which was the symbol of the Polish pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain and which, thanks to the Embassy’s efforts, has unofficially become the symbol of Poles in the UK.
For more information about the celebrations, follow #PLHeritageDays and #PolesinUK on social media and visit the virtual map of all the events.