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March 28, 2005 11:19 AM   Subscribe

Happy Dingus Day! The little known day-after-Easter holiday originally celebrated in Poland involves men dumping water on women and women chasing men around with sticks or pussywillows.
posted by tsarfan (28 comments total)

 
Any holiday with dumping, sticks, willows and pussy is worthy of the title Dingus Day, surely.
posted by Peter H at 11:22 AM on March 28, 2005


That does it: I'm moving to Poland.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:22 AM on March 28, 2005


What exactly is a dingus anyway? I've always wondered.
posted by shoppingforsanity at 11:28 AM on March 28, 2005


This is the reverse in the Czech Republic - men chase women around with bundles of switches and women do the pouring of water.

I was in Prague over Easter a few years ago, and we heard about this before we left, chuckling a bit thinking it was some old-timey quaint custom that no longer went on... but when we landed, right in the airport we were dumbfounded to see many men and boys carrying rather serious looking bundles of sticks around. We saw them everywhere we went for days.

Being chased and whacked by some rather serious sticks wielded by gangs of teen boys and loutish men did not look fun or quaint. I think the only reason we escaped unscathed is that we must have looked notably foreign. And if there were any doubt, my pigdgen Czech berlitz phrases removed it. It's a rather astonishing holdover of a fertility based custom.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:39 AM on March 28, 2005


In South Bend, In. it is a big drinking, meet the politicians day, with most the emphasis on drinking. In Riverhead NY it seemed to be more of a eat Polish food day. The only 2 places I've even run across people that had heard of Dingus Day.
posted by mss at 11:43 AM on March 28, 2005


There's a Hungarian tradition where on Easter Monday, men go around spraying women with perfume. This tradition is also followed in the parts of Romania that have a large Hungarian minority.
posted by Slothrup at 11:56 AM on March 28, 2005


So... how is this different to any other day?
posted by Decani at 11:59 AM on March 28, 2005


I've always heard dingus was another word for pecker.
posted by Peter H at 12:00 PM on March 28, 2005


Dingusa! Aaah!

I married a Polish woman. Her family threatened us with a severe willow-beating on our wedding night if they had found out where we were staying.

Nice folk them Polacks ;)
posted by Popular Ethics at 12:41 PM on March 28, 2005


I didn't know about Dingus Day, but I think I'll surprise my boyfriend with a good ole pussywillow whippin' tonight. Ahem.

Dingus is a good word. "any unspecified or unspecifiable object; something one does not know the name of or does not wish to name," 1876, U.S. slang, from Du. dinges, lit. "thing"

Is "Du." Dutch?
posted by Specklet at 12:44 PM on March 28, 2005


Dyngus Day, actually.
posted by howling fantods at 12:45 PM on March 28, 2005


from Du. dinges, lit. "thing"
Is "Du." Dutch?


Yep, "dinges" is one of the most useful words in the Dutch language. I have never associated it with willow beating, though.
posted by swordfishtrombones at 12:50 PM on March 28, 2005


Dingus Day is a good excuse to hit the bars in Buffalo, NY, where I grew up (although the people in Buffalo don't need excuses to hit the bars, they welcome them anyway).

When I lived in Detroit, the Polish population wasn't real familiar with Dingus Day; they were more into Paczki Day, the Polish equivalent of Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, where the featured item is the paczki (usually pronounced "poonchki"), a jelly donut that has several thousand calories. People line up at the Polish bakeries in Hamtramck Tuesday morning before dawn in order to buy the paczkis.
posted by Doohickie at 1:09 PM on March 28, 2005


Oh, and,

Nazdrowie!
posted by Doohickie at 1:11 PM on March 28, 2005


The South Bend, IN one is a bit loopy, they've been "celebrating" it for over 75 years. I think it is really a political function now. It seems a lot of people declare that they are running for office today, so there is a lot of gladhanding here. One of our admin assistants is from the polish side of town and we had some good homemade polish food that she made for lunch, I've been comatose all afternoon from it. I think this is something akin to St. Patrick's Day for the Irish.
posted by Numenorian at 1:13 PM on March 28, 2005


I've always heard dingus was another word for pecker.

That's quite a comprehensive list - thanks, it'll be useful.

Dingus Day is a good excuse to hit the bars in Buffalo, NY, where I grew up

And will you be hitting the bars with willow branches? *crickets chirping*
posted by shoppingforsanity at 1:43 PM on March 28, 2005


This is the reverse in the Czech Republic - men chase women around with bundles of switches and women do the pouring of water.

madamjujujive, it is only because just this morning i "beat" several women in lednice, czech republic (in moravia) with a willow stick that i dare step forth to say that no water was thrown on me. instead, i was given an egg (colored a beautiful golden brown in boiled onion skins) and a chocolate egg - as were all the other boys and men who showed up to deliver (very gentle and symbolic) lashes.

in slovakia, i was told, the boys throw water and THEN really beat the women, but i assumed this to be czech exaggeration.
posted by three blind mice at 2:18 PM on March 28, 2005


What exactly is a dingus anyway? I've always wondered.

It's the stuff that dreams are made of:
Spade: And you think the dingus is worth a million, huh?...That's a lot of dough...Minimum, huh? What's the maximum?
A shamus and a gunsel are both after the dingus in The Maltese Falcon.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:27 PM on March 28, 2005


shoppingforsanity....
*crickets still chirping*
posted by Doohickie at 2:53 PM on March 28, 2005


tradition where on Easter Monday, men go around spraying women with perfume.

This definitely has sexual overtones, showing attention to and marking favored women like dogs mark territory. They're too drunk to remember later otherwise.
posted by semmi at 3:01 PM on March 28, 2005


The dingus ate your baby.
posted by scody at 3:25 PM on March 28, 2005


Milhouse: I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with the letter D.
Nelson: DINGUS. *knocks Milhouse unconscious with a blow to the head*

posted by knave at 4:06 PM on March 28, 2005


I'm of Polish descent and I swear I never heard of this until I came to upstate NY and someone from Buffalo was talking about it. I honestly thought they were making it up.

You see, it was the whole pussywillow thing...
posted by tommasz at 6:17 PM on March 28, 2005


"What exactly is a dingus anyway? I've always wondered."

Ze dinkus is kvite zimple, really. It operates on ze same principle zat keeps ze earth spinning 'round ze sun, and zat keeps you from flying off ze earth into ze coldest reaches of outer space vere you vood die like a miserable shvine! Yes, ze principle is ze same, except for ze piece of grrrit zey put in to make ze whole experience more pleasant.
-- Professor Erwin Schweide
posted by Zonker at 6:29 PM on March 28, 2005


This is so weird, my friend and I heard about it from a crazy guy on the street and didn't believe it, it was to weird. We just used it as an excuse to start beating guys with sticks.

But I guess it was true.
posted by Suparnova at 7:38 PM on March 28, 2005


three blind mice - dobry den, and thanks for the first hand reporting! It sounds like a benign custom as you describe it, maybe it was some ruffian Slovaks that I saw then, heh?

Your account reminded me that the proprietress of the B&B we were in gave us some beautifully painted eggs, and she baked us each a delicious little bread shaped like a lamb. I loved Prague - this thread reminded me ;-)
posted by madamjujujive at 8:31 PM on March 28, 2005


Hey! This link is to my friend Joe's band, the Low Budgets! he used to be in another band you may have heard, the Dead Milkmen.

Back on topic, my grandma used to call this "Dunking Day" and when I was a kid, she always pulled a fast one on my dad and told him something was broken at her house that she needed fixing. Once he arrived, she threw a cup of water on em'.
posted by punkrockrat at 9:04 PM on March 29, 2005


Wasn't there an industrial band named "Electrode Dingus 2000" or something? I wonder if it's connected.
posted by acb at 7:05 AM on March 30, 2005


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