What is Dyngus Day: How to Celebrate Dyngus Day; Is Anderson Cooper The Pussy Willow Prince? [VIDEO]

Move over, April Fools' Day, April 1 is also another historic holiday this year. Get out your pussywillows: Dyngus Day, the Polish-American holiday used to celebrate the end of lent restrictions and Easter, is here.

Dyngus, which can be traced back to the word "Dingnus" meaning “worthy” or “proper,” focuses on reveling in Polish culture and traditions, including large buffets filled with kielbasa and fresh breads and live polka music, according to the official Dyngus Day website.

Popular traditions include boys sprinkling girls with water and sometimes cologne and tapping them with pussy willows, with the girl reciprocating by throwing dishes and other cookware at the boys, on Easter Tuesday.

Although the day is widley celebrated, there is a variety of debate regarding its origins.

Some believe the day dates back to 966 A.D., linking it to Prince Mieszko I and his court who were all baptized on Easter Monday, thus connecting the traditions with water. Some claimed the water tradition started during the first celebrations in the 1870s in an effort to purify followers and help with fertility. In recent years in Poland, the tradition was used as a method of flirting to allow boys to show their fondness for girls.

Others claim the day holds less religious meaning and that the celebration is more about love and fertitily. One Polish native, Yvona Nestorowicz, claims on the official Dyngus website that the day is based on the story of two pre-Christian Slavic gods named Smigus and Dyngus. Dyngus representing the earth, which allowed children to dye eggs, and Smigus, who represented the water used in the water fights. Nestorowicz claimed that if a girl was watered down on Dyngus Day she was believed to have good luck for the rest of the year.

Other than celebrations in Poland, the holiday is also highly celebrated in areas with a high concentration of Polish-Americans across the U.S. from New Jersey to Alaska. There is a yearly celebration in Buffalo, N.Y., which carries out related festivities for an entire week.

Anderson Cooper infamously had a laughing fit on CNN in 2012 after reporting on Dyngus Day. Cooper was scheduled to be honored this year at the festival but declined to appear due to scheduling conflicts.

“It appears Mr. Cooper is too busy to accept our gracious offer to crowned the first ever Pussy Willow Prince,” Dyngus Day Buffalo’s Eddy Dobosiewicz said.

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