Today is Dyngus Day!  Here are some fast facts to get you up-to-speed before you hit the parade, parties and a couple bottles of Tyskie!

Origin of Dyngus Day:

The baptism of Polish Prince Mieszko I in 966 A.D. This Baptism with water means fertility, cleansing and purification.  Generations later, the tradition of tossing water on the girls and hitting them with pussy willows transpired. (Source: www.holidayinsights.com)

Dyngus Day in the USA:

Dyngus Day was celebrated in traditional Polish neighborhoods going  back to the 1870s, modern Dyngus Day in the city of Buffalo started with the Chopin Singing Society in 1961. (Source: (www.polishplate.com)

..but why Pussywillows?

From Polish legend...several years ago, baby kittens fell into a raging river while chasing butterflies. The mother cat sadly wept at the river’s edge, pleading for help for her kittens that were drowning. The willows heard her crying and swept their long branches into the water. The kittens grabbed onto the branches, held on tight and were brought to safety onshore. From that day on, every Spring, the willows sprouted fur-like buds where the tiny kittens once hung on.  (Source: www.dyngusday.com)