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Get your pussy willows and squirt guns ready!
April 25, 2011 8:37 AM   Subscribe

Happy Dyngus Day! Like St. Patrick's Day for the Polish.
posted by ridiculous (22 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
And to you too. Would it be rude of me to add a little context via the google translate of the Polish Wiki page for śmigus-dyngus?
posted by Ahab at 8:51 AM on April 25, 2011


I'll be celebrating the way I do every year.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:53 AM on April 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


śmigus-dyngus

oh come ON
posted by DU at 8:58 AM on April 25, 2011


My parents, both of whom were born in the US, shielded me from Dyngus Day and most other Polish traditions. I'm not sure why, especially considering how involved in NYC Polish culture my mother's family was. I feel deprived.
posted by tommasz at 9:04 AM on April 25, 2011


Dammit, the one day I left my willow switches at home.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:05 AM on April 25, 2011


The first time I ever went to Prague in 1993 (I ended up moving there a few years later), I experienced the Czech version of this, as it was Easter weekend. Braided whips everywhere! woohoo!
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:06 AM on April 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


tommasz- I wouldn't feel too bad, I know plenty of very Polish-American people who have never heard of or participated in Dyngus Day, even as close to Buffalo as Rochester it's relatively unknown.
posted by ridiculous at 9:06 AM on April 25, 2011


A boy would sneak into the bedroom of the girl he fancied and awaken her by drenching her with multiple buckets of water. Politics played an important role in proceedings, and often the boy would get access to the house only by arrangement with the girl's mother.

Throughout the day, girls would find themselves the victims of drenchings and leg-whippings, and a daughter who was not targeted for such activities was generally considered to be unattractive and unmarryable in this very coupling-oriented environment.


Dang. Courting in historical Poland was stone-cold creepy.
posted by zamboni at 9:06 AM on April 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Im off today for Easter Monday and had been feeling (sorta) bad about all my friends having to work. But now I can be celebrating my heritage (mom born in Poland) guilt free! Brilliant.

Oh, and my wife is taking a nap so I can still pour a bucket of water on her head and whack her legs to be properly observant. Everything's coming up dry white toast.

*runs off to find switch*
posted by dry white toast at 9:07 AM on April 25, 2011


What about some loev for faux-Finn St. Urho last month?
posted by wenestvedt at 9:39 AM on April 25, 2011


zamboni: " Dang. Courting in historical Poland was stone-cold creepy."

Worse -- I just imagined some lonely girl dousing herself with water and whipping her own legs. Dyngus Day is depressing.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:28 AM on April 25, 2011


My parents, both of whom were born in the US, shielded me from Dyngus Day and most other Polish traditions. I'm not sure why, especially considering how involved in NYC Polish culture my mother's family was. I feel deprived.

My mother's side of the family is Polish and emigrated to Canada before 1902. Barely any traditions survived over the generations beyond perogies and sausages, sad to say! Polish culture has a wide history of being suppressed in North America as well as post-World War 2 Poland. I imagine some of these traditions might seem downright strange to non-Polish people. Maybe that is why they kept it from you? I had no idea about this tradition either - thanks for the FPP ridiculous!
posted by Calzephyr at 10:35 AM on April 25, 2011


For some reason, this was big in South Bend, Indiana. By "big," I mean lots of people took off work at lunch, went to a dive bar, drank beer and ate boiled eggs and sausages.

Never heard of it anywhere else.
posted by cyndigo at 10:38 AM on April 25, 2011


Time to rustle up some pierogies and kielbasa and a sixpack. Oh no, wait, that was yesterday.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 10:44 AM on April 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just won major points from my Polish girlfriend for know about this. Thanks, MeFi!
posted by Eideteker at 12:03 PM on April 25, 2011


You know... for kids!
posted by battleshipkropotkin at 12:20 PM on April 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think a lot of girls in Poland (I don't know about Buffalo girls; maybe they just go round the outside) would say fuck Dyngus Day if they had a choice. Once a year, they can't go out without worrying about running into gangs of smirky prepubescent boys roaming the streets ready to throw buckets of cold water on them.
posted by pracowity at 1:07 PM on April 25, 2011


I came in to mention its strange bigness in South Bend, Indiana, which also involves the boys on the college campuses taking part in the "pitching of buckets of water on girls." Super Soakers also acceptable.

It's "like St. Patrick's Day" but COLDER AND WAY FUCKING WETTER. If St. Patrick's Day is the day Jesus wants you to drink, Dyngus Day is the day Jesus wants you to have involuntary wet T-shirt contests on the quad, apparently.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:48 PM on April 25, 2011


I lived in Buffalo for several years and found Dyngus day to be bizarre.

It takes place in the old Polish neighborhood, which was very working class 50 years agol. Now it is almost entirely black and poor. On Dyngus day this black neighborhood is filled, and I mean absolutely filled, with white folks from the suburbs getting drunk and throwing up, trashing the place. I am surprised race riots don't break out when the white people come to fuck up the black neighborhood.

Buffalo is the 6th most segregated city in the country. On St. Pats the white folks have their parade in their part of town. For Juneteenth the black folks have their parade in their part of town. But Dyngus day the whites go into the black neighborhoods to celebrate its whiteness, it feels like.

That said, I am available for pussy willow whipping.
posted by munchingzombie at 1:52 PM on April 25, 2011


I'm actually in Poland, and got squirted with some water guns today! Fun. Local kids freaked out when I wished them a "Happy Dingus Day!" in English. :)
posted by mdonley at 4:03 PM on April 25, 2011


My father's part Polish, but never really knew much about Polish culture (he only re-discovered his roots when the Pawelizcz family moved in next door and Mr. P started drafting Dad into his pierogi-making binges once a year and serving krupnik at parties).

And that's a shame, because I think if Dad knew there was a Polish holiday that let let him say "Dingus" to everyone all day, he'd be all over that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:24 AM on April 26, 2011


....Upon reflection, I think Dad getting into the name "Dingus" is precisely why I should not tell him about this after all.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:25 AM on April 26, 2011


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