MONDAY, APRIL 25: Don’t put away those Easter eggs and treats just yet—today is Easter Monday! In Christian cultures, the joy of Jesus’ resurrection continues; in the United States, the White House Easter Egg Roll and Dyngus Day parties bring new festivity to the long Easter weekend.
In the early Christian Church, post-Easter activities lasted for a full week, but these events were cut down to one day—Easter Monday—in the 19th century. The official week following Easter is still termed Easter Week in the Western Christian Church and Bright Week in the Eastern Orthodox Church, but other than specific church functions, festive events cease after today. (Wikipedia has details.) So enjoy Monday!
Eggs have been rolled on Easter Monday for centuries, but today, this tradition is carried out with fervor at the White House. This year, children and their families will participate in egg rolls and sports, witness storytelling and cooking stations and hear live music as the theme “Get Up and Go!” resonates across the South Lawn. (The White House site has more.) The American tradition that dates back to 1878 will this year reflect the First Lady’s Let’s Move! Campaign: an effort to combat childhood obesity.
Easter Sunday’s blessed holy water has also been doused on others in a high-spirited manner for centuries, used to bless people and homes on this festive day. Various countries have their own specific names and rituals for this day, but it’s the Polish Dyngus Day that takes the cake! Ironically, it’s Buffalo, New York, that sees the world’s largest organized Dyngus Day party each year. (Check out the official site.) In Buffalo, the first Dyngus Day Parade began in 2006 and now attracts thousands; award-winning polka bands fill the air with Polish music; sauerkraut, kielbasas and peirogis feed hungry appetites and water balloons, water guns and more are the tools of choice for water dousing. Smaller Dyngus Day celebrations have recently been springing up around the United States, and this year, Cleveland will join in with its first official Dyngus Day in Cleveland. (Cleveland.com has an article.)
Pssst! Here’s a fun tip from ReadTheSpirit! In the United States, a small number of churches each year promote humor on the first Sunday after Easter. The nationwide network promoting this idea isn’t as active as it once was—but a handful of churches in nearly every state of the union still plan to tickle parishioners’ funny bones on Holy Humor Sunday (May 1 this year). Know about a church going all out for Holy Humor Sunday? Email us at [email protected]
Originally published at readthespirit.com, an online journal covering religion and cultural diversity.