Poland has new public holiday

December 27 will become a new public holiday in Poland to mark the 1918-19 Greater Poland Uprising after President Andrzej Duda signed into law a bill instituting the new holiday on Tuesday.

Andrzej Duda signed the new legislation in Poznań, the capital of the western region of Wielkopolska, or Greater Poland.

The National Day of the Victorious Greater Poland Uprising, was approved by parliament in October at the president's initiative, and will be celebrated every year on December 27.

"In tribute to the heroes, participants in the national insurgency of 1918-1919, who freed Greater Poland from German rule and incorporated it into reborn Poland," reads the preamble to the law.

"It is a certain act of historical... justice towards the Greater Poland Uprising as a tremendously important military undertaking of those times," the president said.

The Greater Poland Uprising, which was one of the two successful Polish uprisings, ended in the triumph of Polish insurgents over the Germans. The uprising broke out on December 27, 1918, in Poznań (western Poland) after a patriotic speech by Ignacy Paderewski, the famous pianist and diplomat, who became the Polish prime minister in 1919. The city was liberated on January 6, 1919. Almost the entire province was liberated by mid-January.

Under the Treaty of Versailles, signed on June 28, 1919, almost the entire Wielkopolskie province returned to Poland.