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What's the difference between "obchodzić" and "świętować"?

Hi everyone! Unfortunately, I cannot find any information about the difference between these two verbs. When can I use each of them? Could native Polish speakers please explain to me? Thanks.

August 16, 2016



"obchodzić" has a lot of other meanings, other than "celebrate" (it literally means walk around something)

I do not think there is any difference in meaning, but in what words go better with which one.

Obchodzić cannot be used without saying what you celebrate, and is used with anniversaries, birthdays, namedays, religious holidays, national holidays, and anything called "święto"

"świętować", can be used without stating what we are celebrating, also about celebrating something that just happened like winning something, graduating, passing exam etc. (it can be also used with all things that can be "obchodzone" as long as you don't use word "święto"

  • 2318

Just to clarify - "obchodzić" refers rather to something that happens with some regularity (annually, in rare cases may be also monthly). What immery said about "obchodzić" anything that is called "święto" would be also correct for anything called "uroczystość" (in terms of religious festivals, "uroczystość" has a higher rank than "święto"; in terms of secular festivals, "uroczystość" is more solemn).

Besides, the word "świętować" implies joy and fun. The word "obchodzić" may be also related to anniversaries which are not necessary so merry - like All Saints Day on 1st November, which is somewhat melancholic (at least traditionally in Poland, that day we bring flowers and candles to the graves of our late relatives and pray for them - and it is completely different from Halloween, which is not a part of Polish tradition).


Thank you for the clarification! It becomes a little clearer. I saw these words in Rosetta Stone but I couldn't understand in which situations it is better to use...


Thank you so much!

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