Smigus-Dyngus, also known as “Lany Poniedzialek” or “Wet Monday“, held on Easter Monday, is that one day a year when it is absolutely acceptable for someone to pour a bucket of water onto another’s head and not get retribution for it! Hence why, most youths are more than excited for its arrival. A tradition held in Poland and other Eastern European countries, its roots are not clearly known, but it is assumed that they date back to pagan times. Despite the widespread influence of Christianity and Roman Catholicism, this tradition lived on – and it provides loads of fun every time for those involved!
What exactly happens on Smigus-Dyngus, one might ask? Traditionally, it consisted of boys throwing or sprinkling water over girls, particularly the attractive ones. At day break on Easter Monday, boys would secretly sneak into girls’ rooms and surprise them with a morning dousing of cold water, or they would drag them to a nearby river or pond and throw them in entirely. Some say the girls were soaked symbolically, because the girls who were soaked to the last thread were the most likely to marry, which was very much desired. Others say that the tradition of dousing with water was supposed to be reminiscent of spring rains, which brought fertility and a successful harvest later down the year. Despite the fact that it was young girls who were most likely to be drenched, the fun always spread further, and in the end everyone was soaking everyone else with water. The trick was the element of surprise – to douse as many people as possible, without becoming thoroughly wet yourself.
The celebration has found its fans and followers even here, in America. Observed by many Polish-American communities, it has gained widespread recognition in many cities, most notably Buffalo, New York, which boasts the largest celebration of Smigus-Dyngus in the country. Proclaiming that “everybody is Polish on Dyngus Day“, Buffalo celebrates with a multitude of Polish bands, parades, food and attire dominating in shades of white and red. Other cities throughout the U.S. with large Polish communities also celebrate Dyngus Day, and it is always loads of fun. Stretching from the Northeast coast to the Midwest, people cheerfully and voluntarily take part in the fun of dousing others with water without vengeance or requital, as it is a thoroughly fun, enjoyable, and refreshing celebration. Along the way of finding a new focus for their identity, the Polish community affected the American community with its effort and became unity. Now many take part in Smigus-Dyngus as it is a unique day that only comes about on Easter Monday.
Wet Monday serves as an extension of the Easter time celebration – a day free of work in Poland, focused thoroughly on enjoyment, appreciation, fun, and further consumption of all of the delicious Easter goodies. For many, the preparation for the holiday itself is a process which begins even two weeks prior, when complete spring cleaning is carried out and food arrangements are made – each household concocting their own. With Lowell Foods, your confectionery and culinary preparation can be made all the easier. With our delicious Lowell hams - among many the Polish Ham, Moscow-style, German-brand, Morliny, Black Forest, and Canadian Maple – you can create wonderful platters consisting of a wide delicious assortment. They are ideally served with the addition of a dash of Lowell Foods Hot Horseradish and Lowell Foods Beets (preferably with Horseradish). Our Lowell Smoked Polish Bacon makes for one flawless component of the traditional Polish white borscht, adding a splendid aroma and full-bodied flavor to the soup, while Lowell Polish Krakowska-brand Sausage is perfect to put into your Easter basket.
All of the products necessary for a splendid Easter celebration, in the most traditional and delicious of ways, can be found at Lowell Foods. Have yourself a sumptuous, cheerful, and jubilant Easter with the aid of Lowell Foods, whose gourmet Polish products have been trusted and esteemed by the Polish community all over the U.S.