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    The Miners’ Day in Poland called Barbórka

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    Barborka is one of the most important mining traditions in Poland. Being a miner was always considered dangerous but at the same time prestigious. This day is called ‘Barbórka’ and has been celebrated for centuries in a spectacular manner.

    Barbórka, also known as Miner’s Day, is a traditional miners’ holiday celebrated in Poland on December 4, the day of St. Barbara. Saint Barbara is a patron of those who face the danger of sudden and violent death at work. In addition to miners, St. Barbara’s Day is celebrated by geologists and others who work in professions related to fossil fuels.

    Tradition says that Barborka should begin with a morning mass, in the church or cechownia (a part of the mine where miners gather and carry out their duties before shift goes down or right after coming back on the surface) by the figure of Saint Barbara.

    After the mass, the miners’ orchestras march through the streets of their towns, playing their anthems. On the occasion of St. Barbara’s Day various meetings, concerts, parties and balls for miners and their families are also organized. It is also worth noting that every mine has its own orchestra and anthems.

    As miners often say, the movement of time and reality changes with life underground. The typical greeting for miners is Szczesc Boze (God Bless). It is like a typical “Have a good day” for those working under a beautiful, sunny sky. 

    As many shifts up as shifts down. God bless you!

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