On 15 August, Poland marks Polish Army Day, which commemorates the anniversary of the 1920 Battle of Warsaw (also known as the “Miracle on the Vistula”), and celebrates the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
Fought on 12-25 August 1920 during the Polish-Soviet War, the victorious Battle of Warsaw is widely seen as a watershed in European history. It was crucial not only for the independence of Poland, but also for the whole continent, stopping the spread of communism and Soviet totalitarianism.
To celebrate the day, garrison churches hold masses on behalf of soldiers, who fell in the fields of glory, and readings of the roll of the dead take place in cemeteries. The Change of Guards takes place before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw, attended by the Polish State authorities.
The Day of Assumption, also known in Poland as the Day of Blessed Mother of Herbs, is celebrated in the Catholic Church throughout the world. It is usually combined with the tradition of blessing and making an offering of herbs, crops, vegetables and flowers. Blessed crops are to secure safe and harmonious home all year long.
On the 15th of August ceremonious masses are held in all churches. The Sanctuary of Jasna Góra in Częstochowa is the point of destination of pilgrimages from all over Poland. The pilgrims pray and sing while walking hundreds of kilometres for more than a dozen days.