You have your red "You bet your dupa I'm Polish" T-shirt, a Tyskie in hand and a pierogi already down the hatch, but how much do you really know about Dyngus Day? Let's find out with a little "Fact or Fiction?"
(1) Dyngus Day is celebrated in Poland.
At least it is not celebrated the way it is here. The party day featuring squirt guns and pussy willows at the end of the Lenten season is actually a Polish-American construct.
Though there may be some Easter Monday revelry in Poland, the Dyngus Day-as-we-know-it tradition started out much smaller decades ago in the working-class taverns in the Polish neighborhoods of Buffalo’s East Side. The now-defunct clubhouse of the Chopin Singing Society is credited by many with starting the Dyngus tradition in Buffalo, which makes the claim of being the Dyngus Day capital of the world.
(2) Anderson Cooper followed through on his promise to attend Dyngus Day festivities in Buffalo after making fun of them on national TV in 2012.
He did burst into a giggling fit while discussing Dyngus Day on his CNN show, but has yet to follow through on his promise to one day come to Buffalo for Dyngus Day.
(3) Buffalo's Dyngus Day festivities inspired a song from a Grammy-nominated artist.
A polka, of course. Lenny Gomulka and the Chicago Push have a tune called "Dyngus Day in Buffalo." We could tell you more, but all you really need is to see it performed:
(4) Eastern suburbs like Cheektowaga and Marilla remain densely populated with people of Polish descent.
Most of Erie and Niagara counties' communities have at least 5 percent of their populations with Polish roots. Areas like Cheektowaga and Marilla, though, are more thickly populated, with more than 25 percent of people living there having Polish ancestry, a 2014 News analysis showed:
- Photos: Polish neighborhoods of Buffalo, circa 1906
- From the archives: Easter at the Broadway Market in 1983
(5) The City of Troy's Dyngus Day push may soon outdo Buffalo's celebration.
Hey, we think it is great Adam Siemiginowski is spreading the cheer. Frankly, the more the merrier.
But do not kid yourselves: No one is touching Buffalo in this department anytime soon. Troy should shoot to rival tamer Dyngus Day celebrations in Cleveland and Chicago before trying to match what we do here in Buffalo.