The custom of pouring water is an ancient spring rite of cleansing, purification, and fertility. Tradition states that Prince Mieszko I along with his court was baptized on Easter Monday.Thus, Dyngus Day and its rites of sprinkling with water have become a folk celebration in thanksgiving for the fact that the first king of Poland was baptized into Christianity, bringing Catholicism to Poland.In more modern times, the tradition continued when farm boys in Poland wanted to attract notice from the girls of their choice.
Historically a Polish and Polish-American tradition, Dyngus Day celebrates the end of the often restrictive observance of lent and the joy of Easter.
Over the decades, Dyngus Day has become a wonderful holiday to celebrate Polish-American culture, heritage and traditions.
There are many stories that attempt to explain the origins of the day.
Many Polish customs date back to pre-Christian practices of our Slavic ancestors. D., Dyngus Day has been associated with the baptism of Prince Mieszko I.
Cologne was used instead of water by the more gallant lads.
The ladies would reciprocate by throwing dishes & crockery and Tuesday was their day of revenge, imitating the same tactics.
According to the „Encyclopedia Staropolska” written in the 19th century by A.
Gloger, the word can be traced back to a medieval form of the word „Dingnus,” which means „worthy, proper, or suitable.” Gloger cites a usage of the word, namely „ransom during a war to protect against pillage,” as well as a German usage of „Dingen”, which means „to come to an agreement, evaluate or buy back”. Mikoll held the first party at the Society’s clubrooms on Kosciuszko Street in Buffalo’s Eastside.
Dyngus day in America Although Dyngus Day was always celebrated in traditional Polish neighborhoods dating back to the 1870s, modern Dyngus Day in Buffalo had its start with the Chopin Singing Society in 1961. The success of the Dyngus Parties during the 1960s led to other Dyngus dances on the Eastside including those at the Broadway Grill, the Warsaw Inn, and the Polish Singing Circle at the New York Central Terminal.
The Chopin Singing Society left the Eastside in the 1980s and moved out to new clubrooms in Cheektowaga where the festival attracted a new generation.
Yet Chopin’s tradition continues with parties taking place at the Hearthstone Manor in Depew, New York.