What is Dyngus Day?

Don't be a dingus. Read up on this traditional Easter Monday celebration.

Once you’ve stuffed your face full of Peeps, carved your ham, and watched Charlton Heston part the Red Sea, it’s time for the real fun to begin.

Dyngus Day, a primarily Polish-American holiday, celebrates the end of the Lenten season. Over 10 million Americans identify as having a Polish-ethnic background, or 3.2 percent of the population.

So how can one be Polish for a day? Check out these tips.

01
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Find Your Spot

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Olga/ Flickr

The largest Dyngus Day celebration is in Buffalo, NY. It includes traditional Polish food, drinks, a parade and plenty of dancing. Other parties can be found in, Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Bristol, CT.  

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Wear Red

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Stockbyte/Getty Images

As St. Patrick’s Day honors the green, Dyngus Day revelers don the traditional Polish flag colors of red and white.   

03
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Learn to Polka

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sebastian-julian/E+/Getty Images

Similar to a waltz, the Polka swings partners around in 2/4 time. An important traditional part of any Polka song is that squeeze box called an accordion.  

04
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Grab Some Pussy Willow Branches

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David Beaulieu

Prepare to flirt. Single ladies and men lightly tap or “swat” the objects of their affection to grab their attention. Pussy willows are used as they are one of the first budding branches of Spring.  

05
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Pack a Squirt Gun

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Jonathan Kitchen/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The best way to answer those love taps? Douse your possible date with a shower. Not interested? Run away. 

06
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Feast on Pierogi

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Barbara Rolek

Most people know pierogi as a delicious Eastern European pasta dumpling. These tasty little traditional morsels can be filled with meat, cheese, potato, or sauerkraut then boiled or fried with onions and butter. 

07
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Sample the Sausage

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Barbara Rolek

Kielbasa, also known as Polish sausage, comes in a wide variety of spices and flavors. Try it on a bun with some horseradish mustard for a treat you can walk around with.

08
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Do NOT Make Fun of Dyngus Day

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Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

Back in 2012, CNN newsman Anderson Cooper went into a giggle fit while explaining Dyngus Day on AC360. The following year Anderson Cooper effigies could be found on street poles at the annual parade. Oops.