|Snagged from the Internet|
I never heard of Dyngus Day before today. It all started with me trying to find out why Easter Monday is mentioned so often as a holiday in many parts of the world. Then I found out about Dyngus Day, a Catholic holiday that is celebrated on the day after Easter and is a big deal in some places.
Let me tell you a little about what I discovered about the holiday: first of all, the biggest celebration of dyngus in the United States is in Buffalo, New York, which apparently has a large Polish community. From Wikipedia:
The Buffalo dyngus celebrations started in the 1960s as an effort by the Polish-American community in the city to find a new focus for its identity. It proved hugely successful, to the point that a local newspaper claimed that "everybody is Polish on Dyngus Day." It has become a fusion of Polish and American traditions, with polka bands, a parade, consumption of krupnik, and Polish food accompanying American patriotic songs sung in English. Party-goers dress up in the white-and-red colors of the Polish flag and carry balloons saying "Happy Dyngus Day" in English.
The actual full title for the celebration is Śmigus-dyngus, and this odd post-Easter party is carried out by boys throwing water over girls they like and spanking them with pussy willows. Boys would sneak into girls' homes at daybreak on Easter Monday and throw containers of water over them while they were still in bed. If you look carefully at the picture at the top of this post, this information will help to decipher the images of pussy willows and buckets of water. The article goes on to explain how the girls would respond.
Girls could save themselves from a soaking by giving boys "ransoms" of painted eggs (pisanki), regarded as magical charms that would bring good harvests, successful relationships and healthy childbirths.
The article also mentions how other places around the world celebrate the day. How could I have missed hearing about this fun tradition for so long? Did you already know that today is Dyngus Day?
Never heard of it...sounds like a good reason to have some fun!ReplyDelete
Easter Monday is a long standing public holiday here - without any Dyngus Day celebrations. I hadn't heard it before.ReplyDelete
Mind you it is at least six months (possibly more) before our pussy willows appear again.
We've always recognized Easter Monday. It's a holiday for federal employees, schools close and a few other places close. But I've never heard it called Dyngus Day though.ReplyDelete
Such a strange and fun day! Boys sneaking in to throw water on girls they like? My daughter's mother-in-law is Polish so maybe that is what they did, though I can't imagine it.ReplyDelete
I didn’t know about this day. The custom is fascinating.ReplyDelete
I've been missing out on this day too.ReplyDelete
That's new to me.ReplyDelete
This is amazing! What fun! I've never heard of Dyngus Day. Funny thing is after living in Chicago for 35 years where there is a huge Polish population (Pulaski Day was a school holiday for quite a while), I've never heard of this.ReplyDelete
Although we have a large Polish community in London, I have never heard of this before.ReplyDelete
Who knew? Schools and government have an Easter Monday holiday here but otherwise it is not followed by retail and business as far as I know.ReplyDelete
My goodness, how facinating. Sounds like grade school when the boys did sometimes painful things to the girls they liked. Do you suppose that is where we got the Easter egg tradition?ReplyDelete
I am sorry to have missed out for how fun would it be just be able to say, "Happy Smigus-dyngus".
Oh for Pete's sake! I didn't know about Dyngus Day until you wrote about it. What an odd custom!ReplyDelete
I've heard the term dingus before, which refers to someone doing something stupid. But never Dyngus. So now I've learned something new today!ReplyDelete
This is news/new to me. However, as a girl, I'm not sure it would be my favorite holiday.ReplyDelete
The first time I read this, I thought I was being pranked! Of course I knew better, but still--you could knock me over with a pussy willow. The photo at the top is the best thing I've seen all day! Haha my gosh :)ReplyDelete
I had heard of Easter Monday, but not of Dyngus Day. I would NOT like to have cold water thrown on me in bed.ReplyDelete