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Get Happy! It’s Dyngus Day, Even If You’re Not Polish

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There’s probably no holiday that’s more about simple joys and fun than Dyngus Day. I never heard about it growing up, but when I moved to Buffalo with its big Polish population, I couldn’t miss it. Although it’s traditional, anyone can appreciate this happy celebration of spring.

by David Stone

for Assorted Ideas, Large & Small

About Dyngus Day

white flowering tree
In Buffalo, the “lashes” were pussy willows, a playful part of Dyngus Day./Photo by anna-m. w. on Pexels.com

Dyngus Day is a Polish holiday that celebrates the end of Lent. It is also known as Wet or Easter Monday because traditionally people would splash water on each other to symbolize the start of spring. Dyngus Day is celebrated on the first Monday after Easter, and it is a national holiday in Poland.

In recent years, Dyngus Day has become more popular in the United States, particularly in cities with large Polish populations like Chicago and Buffalo. The holiday is a time for people to come together and celebrate their heritage. There are often parades and parties, and people dress in traditional Polish clothing.

Where did Dyngus Day come from?

The origins of Dyngus Day are a bit murky, but it is thought to date back to the 9th century. The holiday was first mentioned in print in 1333, in a document from the Polish town of Łowicz. At that time, Dyngus Day was known as “Święconka,” or “The Day of the Sprinkling.” It was a day when people would sprinkle each other with water to symbolize the start of spring.

Over time, the holiday evolved and became more associated with Easter. In Poland, Dyngus Day is still known as Śmigus-dyngus, which means “lashing-driving.” This name comes from the tradition of boys splashing girls with water and then chasing them with switches. If a girl was caught, she would be given a switch to swat the boy with.

Dyngus Day is a fun holiday that celebrates Polish heritage and the start of spring. If you’re looking for a festive and unique way to celebrate Easter, consider attending a Dyngus Day celebration.

One of the most important parts of Dyngus Day is the food. Traditional Polish dishes like pierogi and kielbasa are often served, and there is always plenty of beer to drink.

If you’re looking for a fun and festive way to celebrate Polish heritage – even if you’re not Polish, then Dyngus Day is the perfect holiday for you.

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