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Easter Monday

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EASTER MONDAY HISTORY, ORIGINS, TRADITIONS AND CUSTOMS

Origins of Easter Monday

Easter Monday is a Christian holiday celebrated in various parts of the world on the day after Easter. [Note 1: Easter Monday is listed in the Canadian Labour Code as an official holiday and is celebrated in most Canadian Provinces (not a holiday in British Columbia). Note 2: It is celebrated as a holiday in the U.S., but only in the state of North Dakota.] It's exact origins are unknown, but may have begun in the 10th Century in Poland, to celebrate the baptism of Prince Mieszko on the Monday after Easter in 966.  Miezko is said to be the person to bring Christianity to Poland.  In Poland the day is called Dyngus or Smigus Day.  The traditions of this holiday may have their origin in the Oblewania celebration which took place in the Middle Ages prior to Christianity making its way to Poland. In some countries in the middle ages, the holiday was also called Hocktide.

Dousing

In Poland, the day is celebrated by the men going from house to house and dousing women friends with water.  The dousing of water was meant to symbolize the baptism of Miezko, but it may also have its roots from an even earlier pre-Christian era when villagers used to throw staw men into the lake/river to ward off evil spirits so that they may have a prosperous spring.  The men of the villages found it much more fun to douse the women with water. The dousing, like a baptism is also indicative of cleansing and purification. One tradition of this dousing is that those girls that get very doused will be married within a year.

The tradition of dousing may be include a small spray, or a full-out dousing. In some countries, such as Canada, the water may also include perfume or cologne.

In Hungary the day is called Husvét Hetfoje or Vizbeveto (Dousing Monday or Ducking Monday), and the men & boys would douse the women on Monday, then afterwards, the women would give them colored eggs.  However, the girls got their turn on Tuesday to drench the boys in water.

Switching

As noted above, the day is called Smigus Day, which comes from the Polish word for switching, which is smiganie. The men tenderly switch the women on the day.  The custom of switching might come from the pre-Christian tradition in that area where they would pour water over puss willows to purify themselves each year. This custom is for the confrontation of nature, which is dingen in polish the root of Dyngus.  The word may also originate from the German word dingen, which means agreement, evaluate or buy-back.  However, it also is also translated as worthy or proper in Latin.

In the Czeck Republic, the holiday is called Velikonocni Pondeli and the men switch the women with decorated willow branches.  The women give them colored eggs and sweets so they stop the switching.

Lifting

In England, Canada and other former British colonies, men would lift up the women and carry them for a little while.  The women would then lift (or heave) the men on Tuesday. There are two thoughts to this customs origin: (1) to represent the resurrection of Christ for the Easter celebration or (2) it was adopted an older non-Christian tradition to represent the rising of the crops during the Springtime rituals.

Trickery & Tom Foolery

In some countries, such as Canada, the traditional celebration includes playing pranks or tricks on freinds and loved ones.  Many jokes are often told and exchanged as well.

A Day of Food and Merriment

In countries such as Italy, the day is a day of festive celebration. On Easter Monday (called Lunedě di Pasqua) families go on picnics and there are large meals with all kinds of Italian delicacies. In Ireland, it is a day of celebration.  In Ireland, Easter Monday was a holy day where the faithful would go to mass, however, the rest of the day was spent going to market, eating, drinking, dancing and having fun. The celebrants would usually get very rowdy.  This led to the Pope to declare Easter Monday as a regular work day. However, the people still celebrated on each Easter Monday for years afterwards.  However, after many decades, the celebrations began to fade away - but it has become a national holiday again (but without as much riotous behavior as before). In Canada, the traditional feast includes Lamb.

Biddenden Cakes

It is a tradition in Bidden England for the churches to distribute cakes called Bidden Cakes.  This tradition began when (as the myth is told) two women, Elisa and Mary, called the Bidden Maids, who were joined at the hip (Siamese twins) died, and they left an endowment to pay for these cakes to be made and distributed on Easter Monday ever year.  The cakes usually have an impression of the twins on them.

GIFT IDEAS FOR EASTER MONDAY

EASTER MONDAY LINKS AND ONLINE RESOURCES

Easter Monday Facts, Customs, Traditions and History

Easter Monday Multimedia (downloads, wallpapers,

 ecards, ect.)

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Easter Monday Activities

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Easter Monday Recipes

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Easter Monday International Customs and Traditions

Prague:

Easter Monday: Prague (USEmbassy.cz)

-        Men decorate willow branches with colorful ribbons, then go caroling around town to female friends, then switch them gently with the branch.  The females then present colored eggs, chocolates and other sweets to the men.

-        The head of a household will switch everyone within the household, including livestock (for luck and rejuvenation) 

Poland:

Easter Monday Blues (Sarah E. Hinlicky: Boundless.org): An article in which the author tells of their spiritual journey back to their ancestoral homeland Slovakia during the Easter & Easter Monday celebrations.

-        Men visit female friends throughout town, then dowse women with water, followed by a switching with branches.

-        The women then offer the men sweets and deserts.

Dyngus: Easter Monday (Annita Zalenski)

Ireland:

Easter Monday Mirth & Merriment at the Market (Bridget Haggerty: IrishCultureandCustoms.com): Information on how Easter Monday is celebrated in Ireland.

Italy:

Easter in Gambatesa (Roanelo.net): How Easter and Easter Monday are celebrated in Italy.

General:

Wilson’s Almanac on Easter Monday, Dyngus, Biddenden (WilsonsAlmanac.com): Information on the various ways that Easter Monday is celebrated throughout the world.

SUGGESTED EASTER MONDAY GIFTS FROM OUR AFFILIATES

Tower of Fruit

Rose Sale Banner (125x125) - static

Fruit and Flowers Basket

Flowers and Gift Baskets for Easter Monday

Save 10% on Easter Gift Baskets - 125x125 125x125_eas2  

Easter Bunny Gift Basket

Peace Plant

Easter Bunny Wishes

Cookies and Bunny Easter Basket

Hippity Hoppity

The Bunny Hop

Hoppy Easter

Gifts Under $50 @ 1-800-FLOWERS.COM

The food suggestions above are from Omaha Steaks.  They sell both Kosher and Non-Kosher foods. They state "At Omaha Steaks we offer the finest kosher products available. Our kosher products are manufactured and koshered under the strict supervision of a Rabbi and are in full compliance with Kosher Dietary Laws." However, before purchasing any item, that it states that it is kosher.

GIFT SUGGESTIONS FOR EASTER MONDAY FROM THE www.GiftWarehousePlus.com ONLINE GIFT STORE

Please CLICK HERE for great gift savings from the Gift Warehouse Plus, the official gift store of Gift Ideas Plus and The Plus Network.

 

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