In the Eastern Orthodox Church and Byzantine Rite Catholic Churches, this day is called “Bright Monday” or “Renewal Monday”. The services, as in the rest of Bright Week, are quite different from during the rest of the year and are similar to the services on Pascha (Easter Sunday) and include an outdoor procession after the Divine Liturgy; while this is prescribed for all days of that week, often they are only celebrated on Monday and maybe a couple of other days in parish churches, especially in non-Orthodox countries. Also, when the calendar date of the feast day of a major saint, e.g., St. George or the patron saint of a church or one’s name day, falls during Holy Week or on Easter Sunday, the saint’s day is celebrated on Easter Monday.
Easter Monday is an official holiday in the following countries. Nations on this list indicated as “Eastern Christian” observe Easter according to the Julian Calendar reckoning used in Eastern Christianity, which differs most years from the Gregorian Calendar reckoning used in Western Christianity.
Formerly, the post-Easter festivities involved a week of secular celebration, but in many places this was reduced to one day in the 19th century. Events include egg rolling competitions and, in predominantly Roman Catholic countries, dousing other people with water which traditionally had been blessed with holy water the day before at Easter Sunday Mass and carried home to bless the house and food.
In Australia, Easter Monday is a public holiday. People enjoy outdoor sporting events, such as the Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival in South Australia, Australian Three Peaks Race in Tasmania (Ceased in 2013) and the Stawell Gift in Victoria.
In Austria and Southern Germany, there is the traditional “Emmausgang”, commemorating the walk of the disciples to Emmaus, to which Jesus followed them without being recognized.
In Egypt, the ancient festival of Sham El Nessim (Arabic: شم النسيم, literally meaning “smelling of the breeze”) is celebrated on the Coptic (i.e. Eastern) Easter Monday, though the festival dates back to Pharonic times (about 2700 BC). It is an Egyptian national holiday. Traditional activities include painting eggs, taking meals outdoors, and eating feseekh (fermented mullet).
In the Republic of Ireland it is a day of remembrance for the men and women who died in the Easter Rising which began on Easter Monday 1916. Until 1966, there was a parade of veterans, past the headquarters of the Irish Republican Army at the General Post Office (GPO) on O’Connell Street, and a reading of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic.
Śmigus-dyngus (or Lany Poniedziałek, the Polish for Wet Monday) is the name for Easter Monday in Poland and the diaspora. In the Czech Republic it is called velikonoční pondělí. In Slovakia veľkonočný pondelok, also called Šibačka/Polievačka or Oblievačka. In Hungary húsvéthétfő. All countries practice a unique custom on this day. In Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic traditionally, early in the morning boys awake girls by pouring a bucket of water on their head and striking them about the legs with long thin twigs or switches made from willow, birch or decorated tree branches. Another related custom, unique to Poland, is that of sprinkling bowls (garce) of ashes on people (starts men on women) or houses, celebrated a few weeks earlier at the “półpoście”. This custom is almost forgotten, but still practiced in the area around the borders of Mazuria and Masovia.
In Germany, people go out into the fields early in the morning and hold Easter egg races. For Roman Catholics, Easter Monday is also a Holy Day of Obligation in Germany.
Traditionally Polish areas of the country such as Chicago, and more recently Cleveland, observe Easter Monday as Dyngus Day. Dyngus Day celebrations are widespread and popular in Buffalo, New York; Wyandotte and Hamtramck in Michigan; South Bend and La Porte in Indiana; and Hanover, New Hampshire. Another important custom is the White House Easter egg roll.
Buffalo, New York
The world’s largest organized Dyngus Day celebration occurs in Buffalo, New York. In Buffalo’s eastern suburbs and the city’s Historic Polonia District, Dyngus Day is celebrated with a high level of enthusiasm. Although Dyngus Day was celebrated in traditional Polish neighborhoods of Buffalo dating back to the 1870s, modern Dyngus Day in Buffalo had its start with the Chopin Singing Society. Judge Ann T. Mikoll and her late husband Theodore V. Mikoll held the first party at the Society’s clubrooms in the Buffalo Central Terminal. The Society left the East Side in the 1980s and moved to new clubrooms in nearby Cheektowaga, where the festival attracted a new generation of revelers. In recent years, the focus of Buffalo’s Dyngus Day celebration has returned to the Historic Polonia District in the form of large parties at the Buffalo Central Terminal, St. Stanislaus – Bishop & Martyr Church, the Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle, and at many family-owned Polish taverns. The World’s First Dingus Day Parade, inaugurated in 2006, makes its way through the Polonia District from the Broadway Market to Buffalo Central Terminal. In 2008, the parade attracted more than 25,000 people. In 2012, it was reported that more than 50,000 revelers attended Dyngus Day events. Local comedian “Airborne” Eddy Dobosiewicz has been a leading figure in Dyngus Day celebrations in Buffalo for several years.
In 2006, two-time Grammy Award nominated Polka band Jerry Darlak & the Touch recorded the “Everybody’s Polish on Dyngus Day” polka. “The polka is meant to capture the uniqueness of the Buffalo Dingus Day celebration,” explained the song’s composer, Ray Barsukiewicz. Lyrics include references to pussy willows, the sprinkling of water, polka dancing and parties that last until daylight. That same year, Lenny Gomulka and the Chicago Push released the “Dingus Day in Buffalo Polka” to recognize Buffalo’s time-honored traditions. Gomulka is regarded as one of the nation’s premiere polka stars, having been nominated for 11 Grammy Awards.
In 2007, the world’s oldest working fireboat, the Edward M. Cotter, received the honor of being named the “World’s Largest Dyngus Day Squirt Gun”. “This could explains [sic] why the Cotter is painted red & white,” said Marty Biniasz, alluding to the colors of the Polish flag and the Cotter’s current livery. “It’s only right that The Dyngus Day Capital of the World should have the World’s Largest Squirt Gun. We are proud to now make Buffalo’s most-loved ship part of our Dyngus Day Buffalo tradition.”
In South Bend, Indiana, the day marks the official beginning to launch the year’s political primary campaign season (particularly among Democrats)- often from within the West Side Democratic Club, the M.R. Falcons Club, and local pubs and fraternal halls. Notable politicos who have celebrated Dyngus Day in South Bend include the late Robert F. Kennedy; former Governor Joe Kernan; Senator Evan Bayh; former Congressman and New York University President John Brademas; former Maryland Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend; former Congressman, 9/11 Commission member and current Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer; former President Bill Clinton; and the late Aloysius J. Kromkowski, a long time elected St. Joseph County public servant, for whom the “Al Kromkowski polka” is named.
Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 appearance was marked by his downtown rally attended by a crowd of over 6,000, his participation in the Dyngus Day parade, and his leading of the crowds at the West Side Democratic Club in the traditional Polish well wishing song Sto Lat (phonetic: ‘sto laht’) which means “100 years”. Indiana was RFK’s first primary and first primary victory, which set in motion momentum and victories that may have led to his nomination as the Democratic Party candidate for President had he not been assassinated. 2008 visitors included then – Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton .
Starting in 2004, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana began celebrating Dyngus Day at the request of South Bend students. The event includes free Polish sausage for students as well as a free concert.
The celebration at the Knights of Columbus hall in Elkhart started around 1980 when two Elkhart men with Polish heritage started the celebration there after seeing its success in South Bend.
The Easter Monday holiday in North Carolina stemmed from the tradition in the early 20th century of state government workers taking the day off to attend the annual baseball game between North Carolina State College (Now North Carolina State University) and the once nearby Wake Forest College (now Wake Forest University and moved to Winston-Salem, NC).
Texas and Southwest
Many Independent and other type School Districts and Higher Education institutions in Texas and other southern and southwestern states do not conduct classes on Easter Monday, although it is not an official State of Texas holiday. Many, but not all, Texas School Districts follow this practice. As many of the same Independent School Districts also do not attend classes on Good Friday, a mini-Spring Break of four days is often the result.
Easter Monday is a bank holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but not in Scotland. In Leicestershire, England, the people of Hallaton hold a bottle-kicking match and Hare Pie Scramble.
Elsewhere in the world
- In Guyana, people fly kites, which are made on Holy Saturday.
- In St. Kitts and Nevis, most persons either have picnics or enjoy the day at the beach with family and friends. Kite-making is popular in the days leading up to Easter-Monday and many persons use this day to hold kite-flying competitions. Another major event is the annual Easter-Monday Aquatic Sports at the Ferry Terminal.
- In the twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago people picnic, fly kites and partake in other fun outdoor activities with family and friends.
- In the Netherlands, people eat a festive breakfast and go hiking or cycling in the countryside.
- It is celebrated in Coastal Northern Portugal as the Anjo Festival (Angel Festival), especially in the region of Póvoa de Varzim and is part of the Easter Celebrations, people go to the countryside and woodlands to picnic and party, it also includes a reminder of pagan beliefs, in which the Hedera helix ivy is especially regarded.
- In Italy, Easter Monday is celebrated as Pasquetta. where people have picnics in the countryside. Formally, it is called lunedì dell’Angelo (Angel’s Monday).
- In Lebanon, both Eastern and Western Easter Mondays are official holidays, and they’re celebrated by people having picnics in the countryside or going hiking in the mountains.
- In Hong Kong, people often hold special events such as Easter egg races and painting Easter eggs.
- Part IVArchived 26 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- Тvпико́нъ сіесть уста́въ (Title here transliterated into Russian; actually in Church Slavonic) (The Typicon which is the Order), Москва (Moscow, Russian Empire): Сvнодальная тvпографiя (The Synodal Printing House), 1907, p. 468
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- Archives, National Center for Urban Ethnic Affairs
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- Easter Monday in the United Kingdom
- Easter Monday in the Netherlands
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