Dyngus Day is a Polish-American holiday celebrated after Easter Sunday in Buffalo, New York and elsewhere. To mark the end of Lent, the joyful celebration consists of delicious food, entertaining parades, and wonderful music. This year, due to the pandemic, organizers behind the city’s Dyngus Day celebrations had to come up with creative ideas to keep the festivities alive.
In 966 A.C.E., on Easter Monday, Prince Mieszko I of Poland was baptized. Mieszko converted to Christianity because of the marriage agreement he made with his wife, Princess Dobrawa of Bohemia. By accepting Christianity as his religion, the first king of Poland was also baptizing the whole Polish nation, according to Polish News.
The sprinkling of water is associated with the baptism of Prince Mieszko I. In previous traditions, the farm boys of Poland would throw water at the girls they were crushing on. The farm boys would also playfully tap the girls on their legs with twigs. If the boys were mean-spirited and hit them really hard, the ladies would get their revenge on Tuesday by throwing dishes at them.
Buffalo, New York has long been known as the “Dyngus Day capitol of America.” Due to the pandemic, celebrations in Buffalo, which was supposed to include parades and live polka music, were postponed. Last month, organizers behind Buffalo’s Dyngus Day celebration had to cancel their scheduled events, per WGRZ.
Eddy Dobosiewicz, President of Dyngus Day Buffalo, hoped to hold the celebration on another day. Dobosiewicz explained to WGRZ, “Dyngus Day is all about re-birth. It’s all about starting over and that is the spirit of Dyngus Day.”
“So whatever that day may be, what better way would there be to celebrate birth and renewal after this ordeal we’re going through than Dyngus Day?” added Dobosiewicz.
So how can you still celebrate Dyngus Day through social distancing? Dyngus Day Cleveland will hold their own celebration online through Facebook Live and YouTube. The virtual show hosted by DJ Kishka, will start at 1pm. There will be a virtual chicken dance, polka music, and Councilman Matt Zone will make an interactive appearance.
Yesterday, Jake Kouwe of The Chardon Polka Band, told Fox8, “Dyngus Day is a Polish holiday, a Polish celebration of all things Polish, especially highlighting beer, pierogies, paczki and polka,”