April

Dyngus Day

Monday, 05 April Easter Monday

The Dyngus Day is celebrated in Poland and in Polish American communities every Monday after Easter Sunday. It is also known as lany poniedziałek. This day celebrated Polish culture. It also aims to make people blow off a bit of steam after all the restrictions imposed during the Lenten season. The Dyngus Day can be traced back to a holiday called Smigus-Dyngus which is celebrated in Ukraine and Poland.

About the Dyngus Day

During this special day of celebration, people conduct various activities that let them achieve the purposes or objectives of this day. For one, people play with water to commemorate its spirit. People also eat various kinds of delicious Polish food. They also shout out on social media how they are celebrating this event.

History

According to historical accounts, the origin of the Dyngus Day can be traced back to the 10th century when Mieszko I of Poland conducted mass baptisms all over the country. The aim was to convert the dominantly pagan people into Christians. But before this happened, Dyngus and Smigus are two separate religious festivals that honor trwo different pagan gods. Dyngus was a God that represented water while Smigus was a God that represented thunder.

Dyngus Day

Polish immigrants brought the tradition into the USA as far back as the 19th century. Nowadays, the holiday is celebrated in various cities across the U.S, particularly ones that have large Polish populations such as Chicago, Illinois; South Bend, Indiana; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Bristol, Connecticut; Elizabeth, New Jersey; Cleveland, Ohio and Buffalo, New York.

Dates

As mentioned earlier, the Dyngus Day is always held on the Monday after the Easter Sunday. This means that the dates of celebration for this event are as follows:

  • Monday, April 05, 2021
  • Monday, April 18, 2022

Why Celebrate

Perhaps the main reason why you should celebrate this day is for you to have lots of fun. The activities held during this event are so enjoyable to do. This may also be your chance to indulge yourself in delicious Polish foods.

Celebration Ideas and Activities

The following are the best things to do to make your celebration of the Dyngus Day as best as it can be:

Trick or Treat

One traditional thing that people do during this day is trick or treating. Children go from one house to another asking for candies while securing their Easter Eggs.

The Spirit of Water

Also a common activity during the Dyngus Day is the dousing of water. People, especially children throw buckets of water at each other. They also use wet towels and squirt guns to splash other people with water.

Feast on Food

Of course, the feasting on foods will not be gone in a celebration as fun as this. During this day, people eat mostly Polish food including Placki ziemniaczane (potato pancakes), Rosol (chicken noodle soup), Barszcz (Polish red borscht), Polish Hot Dogs, Paczki (custard filled donuts) and pierogi (dumplings filled with potatoes, cheese, meat or fruit).

Dyngus Day Celebration on Social Media

You can also take your celebration of this day on social media. You may, for instance, use the hashtag #DyngusDay to let your friends and followers know that you are also participating in the celebration of this important day.

Interesting Facts

  • The word “Dyngus” is sometimes also spelled “Dingus” and loosely means worthy, proper or suitable.
  • Dyngus Day dates back to the baptism of Prince Mieszko I on Easter Monday in 966 A.D. The water symbolized purification. The rite of sprinkling water on the holiday is an expression of gratefulness that the first Polish king was baptized, and that Catholicism entered Poland.
  • The day is filled with parades and parties. Parties typically start in the mid-morning on Monday with a buffet of traditional fare and go on until after sunrise on Tuesday.
  • Polka music is a tradition on Dyngus Day and it is often mandatory for participants to dance at least once.
  • Perhaps the most well-known Dyngus Day tradition is that in which single boys try to splash water on single girls as an expression of interest. Rooting from the baptism of the prince, the water represents cleansing, purification and fertility. Participants use buckets or, in modern day, water squirt guns. Some boys use cologne instead of water.
  • Single girls can reciprocate on Tuesday by throwing dishes and crockery at the boys.
  • Young men and women can also flirt on Dyngus Day with pussy willows, which are among the first plants to bud in the spring. The young men may lightly hit women on their legs to show they are interested.
  • Dyngus Day is an occasion to eat traditional Polish foods including pierogis, kielbasa, stuffed cabbage, ham, eggs, breads and lamb-shaped butter.
  • The biggest celebration in the United States takes place in Buffalo, New York, which has a large Polish-American community and is considered the Dyngus capital of America. It started there with the Chopin Singing Society in 1961.
  • Smaller Dyngus Day celebrations take place in Chicago, Illinois; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Bristol, Connecticut; Elizabeth, New Jersey; and South Bend, Indiana.
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