Smigus Dyngus / Dyngus Day / Wet Monday / Easter Monday
After Easter events include egg rolling competitions (ex. White House Easter Egg Roll) and, in many Catholic countries, dousing other people with holy water blessed the day before at Easter Sunday Mass.
In the United States, Dyngus Day celebrations are widespread and popular in Buffalo, New York and South Bend, Indiana. In Buffalo’s eastern suburbs, Dyngus Day is celebrated with a level of enthusiasm that rivals St. Patrick’s Day. Common tradition is to buy pussy willow (Salix discolor) to display in the home; this is tied to the “striking” custom from Poland, where goat willow, the European type of pussy willow, was traditionally used for whipping the legs of girls. In South Bend, the day is often used to launch the year’s political campaign season (particularly among Democrats)- often from within the West-Side Democratic Club, the Falcons Club or in local pubs, where buying drinks is favored over handshaking.
Starting in 2004, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana began celebrating Dyngus Day at the request of South Bend students. The event includes free Polish sausage for students as well as a free concert. This year they will celebrate a “Belated Dyngus Day” the following Monday since Easter Monday falls during a vacation week for students. Wet Monday is also celebrated at Jonathan Edwards College, one of the residential colleges at Yale University, when each year the freshman class storms the college with water weapons, where upperclassmen are ready to defend the college and ensure no one goes home dry.
For Easter Monday in Hungary, perfume or perfumed-water is used. The girls would reward the boys who sprinkle with coins or Easter eggs.*