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Thread: Dyngus Day

  1. #1

    Default Dyngus Day

    Please excuse the double post - Lowell you can delete one of these. Thanks.

    Okay, this is a new one to me. I've never heard of it before. Just found out a cousin from the Pittsburgh area, is traveling to Buffalo, NY to celebrate this day which falls on Easter Monday. I googled Dyngus Day and it indicates celebrations also take place in Wyandotte and Hamtramck.

    Is there anyone on the forum who celebrates this day? If so, what typically takes place and where do you celebrate? Do you go to a rented hall, use church facilities? I'm just curious since I've never heard of it before. Having been raised all around the Polish community and having several in-laws who are Polish, this day of celebration has never been mentioned to me.

  2. #2

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    I've been been holding my own private Dyngus for years, I'm glad others are holding it now. I live in Hamtramck and there were big crowds. Channel 7 drove by with their Satellite transmitter, but when they saw what was going on, they just kept on going.
    Last edited by RickBeall; April-01-10 at 09:02 AM.

  3. #3

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    It's a huge event in Buffalo with quality polka bands playing multiple venues and a bus connecting them sponsored by Sobieski vodka. It's big in South Bend too.

    TOLEDO is cathcing on, with a celebration on MONDAY, APRIL 5 from 6-10PM at a fabulous Irish-themed bar by the Mudhens Stadium called the Blarney. Randy Krajewski's band The Swingin' Ditkas will be playing. Free admission!

    Among Poles Dyngus Day is a day of pranks, often involving dousing desired members of the opposite sex with water, or whacking them with pussy willow switches. Supposedly it celerates Duke Mieszko's baptism into Christianity in 966, but others suggest it is a much older fertility ritual.

  4. #4

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    We celebrated it outside of Hamtramck when I was growing but we also called it Switching Day. On the Monday after Easter, boys would chase girls with branches or switches and threaten to swat them if not paid off - usually $0.25 was sufficient. Then, on tthe Tuesday after, we girls would grab the switches and chase them back to get our money back.

    http://www.polandbymail.com/get_item_9276001.htm offers a Dyngus Day t-shirt that says Wetter is Better explaining that, "The Polish Easter Monday tradition of Śmingus-Dyngus [SHMEE-goos DING-goos] also known as lany poniedziałek dates back to the 8th century. The custom is generally considered a courting ritual in which young unmarried girls are the targets of intrigued boys who douse their ecstatic victims with buckets of water. Today the tradition is widely celebrated by Slavic descendants worldwide and it is not just the girls who get drenched, but the boys get their share of dousing too. Help celebrate this enthusiastic Easter tradition with this tee that charmingly displays the theme "Wetter is Better".

    But I've also heard from current residents of Poland that they mostly celebrate it with either water pistols or by spraying perfume at each other.

    Definately sound like fertility/mating rituals to me!

  5. #5

    Default

    ... and to think I spent all those years holding my own Dyngus.

  6. #6

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    I was told holding my own dyngus would make me go blind.

    edit: damn, Rick beat me to it!!

  7. #7

    Default

    No one beats me. (groan)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    932

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mtm View Post
    We celebrated it outside of Hamtramck when I was growing but we also called it Switching Day. On the Monday after Easter, boys would chase girls with branches or switches and threaten to swat them if not paid off - usually $0.25 was sufficient. Then, on tthe Tuesday after, we girls would grab the switches and chase them back to get our money back.
    My grandmother, who was Polish, once mentioned this "celebration" to me, but never got into the detail of it being held on the Monday after Easter.

  9. #9

    Default Dingus Day

    I have celebrated it my whole life. I now take the day off work and we drive to family members homes to throw water on them and have food and drinks. Super fun! glad to know more people are doing this again- I was afraid it would be lost forever. I grew up in Delray, Polish Church of St. St, Cantius (until it was tragically closed in 2006). The neighborhood was full of Polish immigrant families who all participated.

    This is one of my favorite days of the year!

  10. #10

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    I'll be honest. This thread was a reverse April Fools day joke on me. I thought for sure that Dingus Day and the web site it referred to was an elaborate hoax.

    Holding my cynical Dingus in shame.

  11. #11

    Default

    Thanks to all those who chimed in. I learn so much from this forum!

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