Poland Gift Giving Customs

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Capital: Warsaw

Languages: Polish

Currency: złoty

Religion: Roman Catholic

National Holiday: Constitution Day, May 3 (1791)

More Polish Holidays

Poland is a large country in the heart of Europe, and offers tourist a wide variety of cultural and outdoor adventures. Poland's culture has rapidly changed, ever since their freedom from the overbearing foreign rule of communism for centuries. Poland's capital has become a leading tourist destination and the majority of the country’s cities are rapidly modernising, and the countryside offers travelers a rustic charm. Poland has several tourist attractions to enjoy, like ancient castles, historic churches, medieval villages, and beautiful forests. Whether you will vacationing or taking a business trip to Poland, it is a good idea to learn the gift giving customs in Poland before visiting, especially if you will have an opportunity to exchange gifts.

Gift Giving Etiquette in Poland

  • If you are invited to a Pole's home for dinner, the Polish gift giving custom is to bring a small host/hostess gift, such as flowers, pastries or sweets, or a bottle of wine.
  • When receiving a gift, it should be opened immediately.
  • When giving a gift of flowers make sure to give an odd number of flowers, and they should be unwrapped before being given to the recipient.
  • When purchasing a gift avoid buying excessively priced gifts as they may embarrass the recipient.

Gifts to Avoid

  • Red or white flowers, especially carnations and lilies.
  • Yellow chrysanthemums, as they are associated with funerals.

Business Gift Giving Customs

  • Business gift giving in Poland typically happens at the initial business meetings and definitely upon the signing of contracts.
  • An appropriate business gift idea is a souvenir from your home country, but without your company logo.
  • When choosing a gift keep in mind that some items are in short supply such as coffee, perfume or cigarettes, but make it special by selecting an item that is from your country.
  • A bottle of wine or liquor, but not vodka, is a good choice but choose a high quality brand and something that is not readily available in Poland.

If you will be visiting Poland, you may find the following social etiquette tips helpful:

  • Shake hands upon meeting, as well as when departing.
  • When visiting a Poles home, you may be expected to remove your shoes, typically host/hostess will have slippers for guests to wear.
  • The day after your visit make sure to send a hand written note or card to the host/hostess to thank them for the invitation, time, and hospitality.
  • While dining make sure to keep both of your hands above the table.
  • Do not use first names unless you know someone or have mutually agreed on using first names, use a formal greeting when addressing someone.
  • Be careful discussing religion as most Poles are Roman Catholic, expressing opposing religious views or making fun of the Pope could come across as very offensive.
  • If you attend a church service while visiting Poland, make sure to take off your hat.
  • Refrain from having discussions about the Holocaust or World War II.

Polish Birthday Traditions


Poles will celebrate their birthday along with a name day; the name day custom dates back to the Middle Ages and the origins are associated with the Catholic calendar of saints. The majority of people in Poland consider their name day more important than their birthday. Some Poles, adults and children will celebrate both days by having parties and by receiving gifts from family and friends. Poles will typically bring cake and champagne to their workplace to celebrate their name day.

Here is a link of common Polish first names and a calendar of Polish Name Days

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