There are several Dyngus Day traditions that we look forward to every year, but there’s one tradition that we may have forgotten about and it’s one that is celebrated on the day after. 

You probably enjoyed many of those traditional Dyngus Day activities on Monday, right? I’m talking pierogies, dancing, and wearing red…yeah? Those are pretty much unchanged from many years ago; however, when it comes to our traditions of squirt guns and pussy willows, you may be shocked to learn that it is actually a modified version. 

Back in the day, it was a lot more intense, so much so that they had to make some changes when it comes to celebrating in Buffalo.  

What Was The Original Tradition Of Dyngus Day?

Before it was squirt guns, it was five gallon buckets. Seems like a lot, right? Well, that’s because it was. WYRK’s Rob Banks from Clay & Company caught up with Mike Hnat at the Broadway Market a few years ago, and he explained to us what it used to be like back in Poland on Dyngus Day. 

“They have buckets of water,” Hnat said. “Five gallon buckets.” 

“They will [find] a girl and both guys, one guy over on this side, one guy over on the [other] side, and whoosh,” Hnat made a gesture to show the dumping of water from the bucket. 

When asked if the girls like that, Mike Hnat seemed to shrug before calling it a “pre-dating ritual.” 

But don’t think that the women won’t come after you. Hnat told us, “She’s not going to stand and let you throw five gallons of water on her. She’s coming after you…if she’s interested.” 

When Knat was telling us about how the women would get their “revenge,” per say, he only mentioned how they would use pussy willows to come after the guys with tree branches. 

It doesn’t look like they always used pussy willows, though….

Secret Dyngus Day Tradition?

A Polish woman had mentioned to me that the ladies can strike back on Tuesday and with more than just pussy willows. According to the source, the women used to get their revenge on Tuesday following Dyngus Day by “throwing dishes back at the boys.” 

I couldn’t believe that they would throw dishes at them, as that sounds extremely dangerous and includes an added potential to cause injury, so we called Eddy Dobosiewicz, the President of Dyngus Day Buffalo, to verify the tradition. 

“In Poland, it is,” Dobosiewicz said. “You got to understand here, in Western New York, it is completely different than what happens in Poland.”

You can hear more of what Dobosiewicz said below. 

Can You Throw Dishes At The Boys The Day After Dyngus Day?

In Buffalo, it is more common for the guys and the girls to playfully attack each other on Monday with squirt guns or pussy willows, so I would be cautious about throwing your dishes. Though if you are truly Polish, it may be ok. 

EXTRA: Did You Know The Backstory Behind Pussy Willows?

According to the official Dyngus Day website, pussy willows play a major part in Buffalo’s Dyngus Day celebrations, but the way those branches got their name is rather interesting.  

The Polish legend has it that many springs ago, baby kittens fell into a raging river while chasing butterflies. The mother cat was unfortunately weeping at the river’s edge, pleading for help for her drowning kittens. These willows heard her mournful cries and swept their long branches into the water, which allowed the little kittens to grab the branches, hold on tightly with their paws, and they were safely rescued and brought to shore. 

After that one spring day, we have always remembered those willow branches with fur-like buds as the ones that saved those kittens. 

The 20 Best Spots To Grab Lunch In Buffalo, New York

These popular Buffalo-area restaurants are worth playing hooky from work for.

Gallery Credit: Facebook/Yelp/Instagram/Canva

2024 Country Concerts in Buffalo, New York

A lot of concerts coming in 2024! Here are all of the country concerts happening in Western New York.

Gallery Credit: Rob Banks

10 Best Chocolate Shops In Western New York

Here are some of the best spots for decadent, delicious chocolate here in the Buffalo area.

Gallery Credit: Megan Carter/Facebook/Yelp