The History of Dyngus Day in Buffalo

The History of Dyngus Day in Buffalo

Buffalo, NY is the Dyngus Day capital of the world and if you visit you can learn all about the fun activities planned for this year beginning with a parade through the historic Polonia district of Buffalo on April 18, 2022. It is a fun event with prizes given for the best floats.

The Polish-American tradition of Dyngus Day “celebrates the end of the Lenten period preceding Easter Sunday and culminates with the celebration traditionally held on the Monday after Easter Sunday. 

Dating back to 966 AD, Dyngus Day has been connected with the baptism of Prince Mieszko I. According to tradition, the Prince was baptized on Easter Monday, bringing Catholicism to Poland.”  Historically, Dyngus Day is a joyful celebration oftentimes representing fertility, cleansing and purification. 

One may ask, why the pussy willow? Since Dyngus Day occurs the day after Easter Sunday, this means it occurs during the beginning of springtime. “Branches of the plant are used as the pussy willow is one of the first ‘budding’ plants of spring.” There is a cute Polish legend in reference to the name of the pussy willow, involving baby kittens chasing butterflies and falling into a raging river. The mother cat would cry for her poor kittens, sweeping long graceful branches in the water. The kittens would secure the branches, bringing them to shore. “Every spring, from that day on, the willows sprouted fur-like buds where the tiny kittens once clung.”

According to modern traditions, throwing was brought up by boys to attract the girl of their choice. The yearly debate today is, who throws what at whom? Nowadays, it is a common practice that both males and females throw pussy willows and water at each other rather evenly

Keep up with to stay tuned for events and plans for Dyngus Day 2022. The website creators “understand everyone’s eagerness to prepare their pussy willow plan and organize their adventure so you can catch as much of the action as possible.  For general inquiries on festivities, you may call (716) 833-5211, or email

“...The tradition started to catch on with younger Buffalonians who were looking to reclaim some of their Polish heritage, or just looking for an excuse to shake off the winter months with vodka and pierogies..” - WALL STREET JOURNAL

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