Happy Dyngus Day
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.
And 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.
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 annual Dyngus Day celebration at the Hearthstone Manor in Depew and the annual Dyngus Day parade starting from the Broadway Market and ending with a celebration at Buffalo’s old Central Terminal.
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