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Happy Dyngus Day

Dancing at Central Terminal on Dyngus Day (buffalocentralterminal@Flickr)

There are places in this country that observe it, but nobody celebrates it like we do in Buffalo.  It’s an old Polish tradition called Dyngus Day.  It commemorates the baptism of Poland’s first Christian prince.  It always falls on the day after Easter with a big celebration of the end of lent with food and dancing.  The food includes a large buffet of Easter foods like ham, kielbasa, fresh baked goods and eggs.

It’s also traditionally a day when the boys chase the girls with pussy willow twigs and sprinkle them with water to let them know they’re interested.  Pussy willows are used because they’re one of first “budding” plants of spring.

It’s not just a Polish tradition.  Dyngus Day is also celebrated in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.

Buffalo’s Dyngus Day celebrations are believed to be the largest of anywhere in the United States.  It’s been celebrated in Buffalo’s Polish neighborhoods since the 1870’s, but the big day-long celebrations we have today were started in the early 60’s by the Chopin Singing Society.  They were so successful, other east side restaurants joined in.

The Dyngus Day tradition continues today with the 8th annual Dyngus Day parade starting in front of Corpus Christi Church near the Broadway Market, then left on Broadway, left on Fillmore and ending on Memorial Drive. has a listing of more than 30 area places celebrating Dyngus Day with food, music and dancing.  They also have a listing of Dyngus Day celebrations going on in Cleveland as well.


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