Now that we're home, we are enjoying some of our favorite hometown activities. Western New York and the City of Buffalo are in a really fun time of transition: moving forward from a history of as a struggling rust belt city to a burgeoning hub for young go-getters and families. Occasionally, in between sifting through our thousands of trip photos and videos, I'll be posting some fun stuff showcasing the place we always love to come home to. One thing the City of Buffalo is known for is our Dyngus Day celebrations, as we are now the unofficial Dyngus Day capital of the US. For those of you who don't know, Dyngus Day is a Polish-American holiday that celebrates the end of the long 40 day period of Lent, the joys of Easter, as well as Polish-American culture, heritage, and traditions. The events start as early as noon on the Monday after Easter. There is a long standing tradition that involves playfully tapping members of the opposite sex with pussywillow branches and sprinkling them with water. In old stories, the boys bothered the girls on Monday with the water and branches, and on Tuesday the girls would return the favor by chucking dishes and crockery in revenge. It's strange, we know (cough, Anderson Cooper), but we go with it.
In Buffalo, Polish-Americans and their descendants participate in a number of traditions every year at Easter. One we've done for a number of years is visit The Famous Broadway Market in Buffalo's historic Polonia district. The market is packed in the weeks leading up to Easter with customers buying Polish sausages, pierogi, and pussywillows. On Dyngus Day, venues all over Western New York fill with polka music, the smells of kielbasa, and men and women playfully swapping pussywillow taps and water gun squirts. This year would be our first celebrating Dyngus Day. My maternal great grandparents were Polish immigrants, and I was happy to partake in the festivities of my heritage! Check out our photos of the fun we had this Easter weekend!
The Broadway Market:
Dyngus Day Festivities in Buffalo, NY: