Monday, April 17, 2006

Dyngus Day, or Wet Monday, April 17th


There are some days that I am glad that I am not Polish. Also, there are some days that I am glad that I am the only one with a key to my apartment so no-one will have the opportunity to wake me up with buckets of water and by whipping my legs with long thin twigs. But, I do have to warn any boy that might think that this is a good idea... this is not the proper way to court a girl in the U.S. of A.

Dyngus Day or Wet Monday (Polish Śmigus-dyngus, lany poniedziałek or Oblewania) is the name for Easter Monday in Poland. In the Czech Republic it is called Velikonocni Pondeli or Pomlázka.

Both countries practice a peculiar custom on this day. Traditionally, boys will awaken girls early in the morning and douse them with water and strike them about the legs with long thin twigs made from willow, birch or decorated tree branches (palmy wielkanocne). This practice is possibly connected to a pre-Christian, pagan fertility rite, although the earliest documented records of Dyngus Day in Poland are from 15th century, almost half a millennium after Poland adopted Christianity...

Later the focus became the courting aspect of the ritual, and young unmarried girls were the only acceptable targets. A boy would sneak into the bedroom of the particular girl he fancied and awaken her by completely 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 wasn't targeted for such activities was generally considered to be beznadziejna (hopeless) in this very coupling-oriented environment.
(From Wikipedia)

6 comments:

Iguana Sam said...

In Hungarian, it's Husvet, and it's fabulous! Loads of excellent sausage, cold chicken, and pastry rolls, along with cologne or squirt guns going wild. Bushie should stop trying to mess with Medicare and should instigate a national wet day...you know, to build bridges with the international community.

Absent-minded Secretary said...

They never mentioned food in any of the articles I read. For pastry rolls, I could handle getting squirted with a squirt gun.

Th. said...

.

Now that's sexy!

Absent-minded Secretary said...

I wonder if Lady Steed would think it sexy? But, since you have already won her, you don't need to court her with buckets of water. :)

Iguana Sam said...

Hmmm...my anniversary is next Wednesday. Maybe, for old time's sake, I could procure a Super-Soaker 2000 for the event. ;)

Absent-minded Secretary said...

Even though I am not married and as such haven't a frame of reference, I'm not sure if your wife will find that very anniversary-like, unless that's how you courted her, in which case I wish you good soaking :)