What is a matura exam and why do young Poles avoid the hairdressers in the spring time? ?

Matura is so called „maturity exam” – the most important exam in the whole school life of a young Pole. If someone decided to go to high school, at the end of the last year of studying, exactly now, in May, they take exams, that will decide on their whole future career. Depending on how well they pass the matura exam, they will (or won’t) get accepted on their chosen university and the dreamt field of study!

Everyone in Poland knows what matura is. There are many superstitions, songs and traditions. One hundred days before the exams time, schools organise studniówka balls (kind of like proms in American movies! The name comes from the words „sto” – „one hundred” and „dniówka” – „work days” – from one hundred days before the exams!) For this ball, underneath your dress and suit, you should wear red underwear, which then you have to put on again on your exam day – that’s supposed to bring you good luck! Another superstition is that from studniówka day to matura you shouldn’t go to the hairdressers and cut your hair, because you don’t want to „cut down the knowledge” you’ve already learnt!

They say matura exams are always when the buckeyes / horse chestnut trees blossom (and in Poland it’s usually in May) – they are very popular trees in Polish parks and alleys. I remember that when the time of my matura exam was coming, I kept thinking wishfully, that maybe this year they won’t blossom and they would have to cancel the exams! 😉

There are many fun songs about matura – I attach two links for you – you have to listen to them!

Keep your fingers crossed for all the students now! 

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