Easter season is one of the most important events in Poland, even some people consider it the most important festivity of the year. Millions of Poles will go back to their natal cities or towns to spend this celebration with the ones they love, eat traditional and delicious Polish Easter food and live once again this extraordinary tradition.
What the Wet Monday is
The Wet Monday (Śmigus-Dyngus in Polish) is also known as Easter Monday or Lany Poniedziałek and is a holiday in Poland.
It is celebrated on the first Monday after Easter, and the way to celebrate is actually really fun: you need to pour water on other people!
In many other countries in the world this tradition is also celebrated. For example, in Mexico we celebrate it on the Easter Saturday and it is called: Holy Saturday.
The Traditional Polish Way to Celebrate It
Traditionally, the boys need to pour water over girls, and they also need to spank them with pussy willow branches. It is believed that the girl that is most wet or the one that received most amounts of water, has more chances to get married.
On the following day, Tuesday, girls would do exactly the same, they would throw water over the boys and spank them as well.
History of the Easter Monday
The origins of this celebration are uncertain, but it is believed that it started before the XIV century. Many people assume that this celebration has its origin in one of the following:
From the pagan mythology, most likely a link with the Slavic goddesses of fertility. The tradition of watering the Corn Mother, who made crops grow and was represented in the form of a doll or wreath made from corn.
Wet Monday is a commemoration of the birth of Christianity in Poland, when Holy Baptism was administered to the Prince Mieszko on Easter Monday. This act united all of Poland under the banner of Christianity.
Wet Monday Nowadays
If you are a tourist that is visiting Poland during Easter, well, let me tell you that you need to be very careful when you will be walking in the streets of the city.
Nowadays, this Wet Monday tradition is not only celebrated between little boys and girls, even older people can participate in it. Some Poles say that if you get splashed by water thrown on Wet Monday you will have good luck for the rest of the year!.
If you wake up late that day it is 99% probable that people will wake you up by throwing cold water to you! It’s true, it is not a joke.
Please be careful, in the last years it had been really cold during Wet Mondays, even 3 years ago instead of having water fight, we were throwing snow-balls.
Easter in Poland is an unique experience that you have to live at least once in your life! If you are a foreigner and you have the chance to celebrate those days with a Polish family you will love it!
When I was a kid in the USA ,we would fill balloons with water and throw them at boys on Tuesday after they had done the same thing to us on Monday. We didn’t do the spanking part, thank God! The boys wouldn’t have stopped!