What is Dyngus Day and why do Western New Yorkers celebrate?

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) —Along with Easter a lot of Western New Yorkers enjoy the Monday after the holiday. If you don’t know, it’s called Dyngus Day. But what is it and how did it get started? It’s an event that signifies the end of the austerity and inner reflection of lent.

Eddy Dobosiewicz, President of Dyngus Day Buffalo explains, “Dyngus Day is an ancient observance that Buffalo has turned into a civic holiday. It’s really fat Tuesday on the other side of lent.”

Many already have the day off of work because of Easter, so the number of people who celebrate, is huge, especially in the Queen City.

Dobosiewicz shared with News 4, “Buffalo is undoubtedly the Dyngus Day capital of the world. There is no other place on the planet that celebrates Dyngus Day like we do here in the Queen city, not even in Poland.”

Poland looks at the holiday as more of an annoyance, or as an April fool’s joke. The children play lots of pranks on each other including one many of us have picked up on.

He said, “Boys would splash girls with water that they were attracted to. They would also use pussy willows or branches of spring to sort of switch them about the legs.”

And if you think that’s wacky, the following day, women would throw plates and cups at men they found appealing. Luckily after being westernized, that part of the tradition has been replaced. The event has grown in numbers here in Buffalo by a lot in recent years.

Dobosiewicz said, “When we first started the parade back 11 years ago in 2007, we probably had about 50 people that took part in the parade and 1,000 watching. This year we estimate we’ll probably get 40-50 thousand people that take part.”

And when the king of Dyngus traveled to Poland and shared that news, something big emerged. The first ever Dyngus Day Buffalo event will be held in Poland this year. But if you can’t make it to Poland, you can watch the Buffalo parade starting on Broadway.

WIVB.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s