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Easter Monday

About Easter

Easter Monday

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Easter Monday is a Christian holiday celebrated the next day after Easter Sunday. Formerly, 'it was also celebrated as a week' , but it was reduced to a one day celebration in the 19th century. Celebration events include egg rolling competitions and dousing other people with water which, at one time, was holy water used to bless the house and food.

Official holiday

Easter Monday is an official holiday in the following countries:

Albania Andorra Anguilla Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Aruba Australia Austria Bahamas Barbados Belarus (Julian Calendar) Belgium Belize Benin Botswana British Virgin Islands Bulgaria (Julian Calendar) Burkina Faso Cameroon Canada (general holiday in Québec, loosely observed elsewhere) Cape Verde Islands Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile Cook Islands Côte d'Ivoire Croatia Czech Republic (Pomlázka) Denmark Dominica Equatorial Guinea Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana Gabon Gambia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guinea Guyana Hong Kong Hungary Iceland Ireland Isle of Man Italy Jamaica Kenya Kiribati Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Malawi Martinique Moldova (Julian Calendar) Monaco Montserrat Namibia Nauru Netherlands Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia New Zealand Niger Nigeria Niue Norway Papua New Guinea Poland Romania (Julian Calendar) Rwanda Senegal Serbia and Montenegro (Julian Calendar) Seychelles Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands South Africa (Family Day)[1] Spain Sweden Switzerland St. Kitts and Nevis St. Lucia St. Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Suriname Swaziland Switzerland Tanzania Trinidad and Tobago Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Kingdom(except Scotland) U.S. Virgin Islands Vanuatu Western Samoa Zambia Zimbabwe

Easter Monday is also celebrated in the one U.S. state of North Carolina.

Traditions

Dyngus Day or Wet Monday (Polish Śmigus-dyngus, lany poniedziałek or Oblewania) is the name for Easter Monday in Poland. In the Czech Republic it is called Velikonocni Pondeli or Pomlázka, as the whip-type being used.

Both countries practice a peculiar custom on this day. Traditionally, boys will awaken girls early in the morning and douse them with water and strike them about the legs with long thin twigs made from willow, birch or decorated tree branches (palmy wielkanocne). This practice is possibly connected to a pre-Christian, pagan fertility rite, that seems in line with the Ancient Roman Lupercalia, although the earliest documented records of Dyngus Day in Poland are from 15th century, almost half a millennium after Poland adopted Christianity.

Early in the Polish evolution of the tradition, the Dyngus custom was clearly differentiated from Śmigus: Dyngus was the exchange of gifts (usually eggs, often decorated like pisankas), under the threat of water splashing if one party did not have any eggs ready, while Śmigus (from Śmigać, to whoosh, ie make a whipping noise) referred to the striking.

Later the focus shifted to the courting aspect of the ritual, and young unmarried girls were the only acceptable targets. A boy would sneak into the bedroom of the particular girl he fancied and awaken her by completely drenching her with multiple buckets of water. Politics played an important role in proceedings, and often the boy would get access to the house only by arrangement with the girl's mother.

Throughout the day girls would find themselves the victims of drenchings and leg-whippings, and a daughter who wasn't targeted for such activities was generally considered to be beznadziejna (hopeless) in this very coupling-oriented environment.

Most recently, the tradition has changed to become entirely water-focused, and the Śmigus part is almost forgotten. It is quite common for girls to attack boys just as fiercely as the boys traditionally attacked the girls. With much of Poland's population residing in tall apartment buildings, high balconies are favourite hiding places for young people who gleefully empty entire buckets of water onto randomly selected passers-by.

In the Czech Republic, instead of splashing water, a special handmade whip called pomlázka is used on females in the morning. In the afternoon, females douse males with cold water.

In the United States, Dyngus Day celebrations are widespread and popular in Buffalo, New York and South Bend, Indiana. In Buffalo's eastern suburbs, Dyngus Day is celebrated with a level of enthusiasm that rivals St. Patrick's Day. In South Bend, the day is often used to launch the year's political campaign - often from within a local pub, where buying drinks is favored over handshaking.

  • For Easter Monday in Hungary, perfume or perfumed-water is used. The girls would reward the boys who sprinkle with coins or Easter eggs.

External links

References

  1. (1994-12-07). Public Holidays Act, 1994 (36 of 1994, South Africa). (PDF) URL accessed on 2006-04-05.

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