We all know about Easter, that feast day which celebrates new life in both a physical and spiritual sense. In ancient times, this was the feast celebrating the coming of Spring and of fertility. The holiday is actually called "Easter" because it is a celebration of coming of the east wind, the warm wind which would being warmer weather and the blossoming and blooming. Of course, in Christianity, the holiday celebrates the renewal of life in a spiritual sense, and that God brings new spiritual life to human beings through Jesus the Son of God, who died and rose from the dead. When Christianity took over the holiday in the fourth century C.E., they inherited all the trappings of the holiday of renewal and fertility including chicks and eggs, and also the rabbit. Why the rabbit? Think about it! Easter is a fertility holiday! What better symbol of fertility than the rabbit which is a known prodigious multiplier!?
Fertility traditions abound in many cultures around this time of year and perhaps none is more fun and delightful than the Polish celebration of Dyngus Day, known to many others as Easter Monday, and it is known as a holiday of fun, drinking, music and frivolity. According to the Artvoice tabloid in Buffalo NY, organized Dyngus Day celebrations in Buffalo are considered the largest in the world, except perhaps Poland. Buffalo indeed does have a substantial Polish population and indeed they celebrate with gusto. One of the features of the holiday in Polish tradition is that women go around whacking men with pussy willow and the men go around squirting women with squirt guns. Remember that this is a fertility holiday. It doesn't take much figuring out what the pussy willow and the squirt guns are about! Think about it!
Even the name "Dyngus" or "Dingus" sounds suggestive of sexuality! But we will not elaborate too much here, since this is a respectable family newspaper! The word "Dingus" actually comes from the ancient Polish twin gods of earth and water, and of the sky, known as Dingus and Smigus, (regardless of what the words might sound like in English, and both names do sound rather suggestive.)
From the Artvoice, here a list of some of the Dyngus Day events in Buffalo. All events are on April 9, 2012. A comprehensive list can be found on dyngusdaybuffalo.com.
12pm. Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle, 612 Fillmore Ave. $10 admission. Best Kielbasa in Buffalo contest, Polish beer tasting, music.
3pm. Buffalo Central Terminal, 6th Annual Dyngus Day Celebration, 495 Paderewski Dr. $10/$12
3 to 9pm Old Polish Veterans Post, 617 Fillmore Ave. $5. Live music, food, pastries, wine.
5pm Millennium Airport Buffalo Hotel, 23rd Annual Dyngus Day Party. $10