Monday, April 17, 2006

Dyngus Day

Dyngus Dzien! Today is Dyngus, the Polish day-after-Easter holiday celebrating the end of the Lenten fast with heaps of good food and questionable behavior. Oh, and lots of beer. Growing up in South BendIndiana, of my friends were Poles from the West Side, so I was well-steeped in Polish traditions. Dyngus Day is celebrated with a huge dinner of roast chicken, sausage, potatoes, cabbage, kluski, green beans, and a pie on every table. The centerpiece is a cake baked in a lamb-shaped mold, usually covered with shredded coconut for an appropriately wooly appearance. Men run around switching the women's legs, and the women retaliate by throwing cold water at them. Not sure of the appeal of that last bit, but it's also a day of political grandstanding, with the candidates for local office (all Dems, natch) visiting the various taverns and social clubs for a beer, a speech, and a turn on the dance floor to whatever polka band is playing.

It should be an interesting Dyngus in South Bend today (typical conversation in the Bend on the morning after Easter: "Are you going Dyngusing this afternoon?" "Yup."). There's certainly ample fodder for discussion. Nuking Iran? Covert military operations already underway in Iran?

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