[Northkeep] Happy Śmigus-dyngus Day

Jerry Herring j.t.herring at sbcglobal.net
Mon Apr 5 08:46:48 PDT 2010

Happy Śmigus-dyngus Day

A traditional Polish holiday set on the first Monday after Easter, it is sort of like their version Valentines Day likely taking its roots from pagan cleansing rituals or christian baptismal rites. Some believe the tradition dates back to 966 when Poland's king was baptized on Easter Monday.

 The  traditional holiday celebrations marking Śmigus-dyngus Day are that men and boys splash the ladies with water to show their affection for them... modern interpretations say with squirt from a water-gun...some older traditions include a dowsing with a bucket...and other rituals on a different bend involve the males swishing the skirts to tap the ankles and legs of the ladies with canes as a symbol of their affections. The women in order to get the men and boys to stop splashing, dowsing, squirting, swishing and tapping offer a payment...usually in the form of a coin or a kiss. Modern polish traditions in America sometimes mark the day with a dance where they play traditional Polka music.

On this day in Poland groups of 
young boys are seen waiting for the girls to pass-by near the markets 
or on the corners of the streets. Older men behave more like gentlemen 
lightly spraying or splashing their 
wives with scented or cologne waters rather than dowsing them with a bucket. The belief is that the more a woman or girl is splashed the higher her chances of finding true love and having a good marriage.

Of course in order that there is fairplay the next day (Tuesday) the girls were allowed to splash the boys as much as they wanted. 

So all you men out there throw some water on the one you love in honor of Śmigus-dyngus Day!


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