Have you heard of Dyngus Day? Quite frankly, I learned about it a few years ago when it made Anderson Cooper’s Ridiculist. In an attempt to learn about the culture that is Buffalo, I checked it out one faithful spring day last year.
It’s nearly April and lets face it, it’s still freezing out. The brief stroll from the library to DAC leaves you shivering from head to toe. You touch the door with your hands and the metal is so cold your hands sting in disapproval. The door gusts open and you walk back to quickly attempt to shut it behind you. While some of us used our spring break to travel to some warm destination to try and forget about the cold back at campus, and others wrapped themselves in a blanket and thought about the warm summer days ahead, there are still some pretty cool things to see in Western New York right now that will not be there in a few weeks. So step out of your blanket cocoon, put on your mittens, and check these out!
While I had already traveled to the Grand Canyon of the East in the fall to admire the leaves, curiosity got the best of me when I heard of the Ice Volcano at Letchworth State Park, a huge cone of ice that formed as a result of gushing water from an outdoor fountain near the Glen Iris Inn. Take a nice drive in the scenic winter wonderland of the Western New York countryside and see the volcano for yourself. Letchworth State Park is a little over an hour from campus. While I recommend checking it out during the day, if you have a later class and want to check it out, the Castile entrance of the Park is open until 11pm to visitors.
The Monday after Easter, commonly known to those of Polish heritage as Dyngus Day, is very much alive and well in Buffalo, New York. Buffalo is home to one of the largest Polish populations in the country, and is known around the world for the Dyngus Day celebrations.
For those of you who don’t know, Dyngus Day is a centuries old Polish holiday. The Monday after Easter, it is held to signify spring and a good harvest. Traditionally, attractive girls were drenched in water by men, and hit with pussywillows. A girl could protect herself from getting soaked by giving the boy a ‘ransom’ of decorated eggs. Traditionally, many rhymes and phrases went along with the drenching, and the entire village would participate in a parade to celebrate the end of winter, and the hope for a successful harvest.
Ever had a moment where you were diligently working on something and then all of a sudden your brain gets hit with a Mack truck: butter chicken. You open Google and search up the closest Indian restaurant that has delivery. Sound familiar? Yeah, I had more than my handful of cravings this semester. Stress from school, work, and life in general often stack up my mental list of food cravings like sushi, taro bubble tea, chips and chocolate…but know what’s worse? Not being able to get it! ARGH! Sometimes my cravings are not as bad because they come and go, but then there are the ones that keep lingering hour after hour, day after day, week after week…