Today on AM Buffalo Mel and Emily explores what Dyngus Day is about. Emily and Eddy Dobosiewicz, president, Dyngus Day, LTC take you on a walk through Buffalo’s Polonia community and talk about the significance of Buffalo’s Polonia district to Western New York and how it all started in our area. Eddy tells us that Buffalo is the second largest Polish community in the world outside of Warsaw. Chicago is number one and Buffalo is number two.
Mel went to a pussy willow grove in a top-secret location somewhere near Buffalo and caught up with Eddy Dobosiewicz, to find out why pussy willows, and how Dyngus Day became what is today. Eddy says pussy willows are an integral part of the Dyngus Day celebration because it signifies regrowth of life of nature; it is the first bud of spring.
Eddy tells us, Dyngus Day in the Polish culture has been observed in a very low key way for hundreds and hundreds of years but here in Buffalo there was a private club called the Chopin Singing Society that was located in what we now call the historic Polonia district and they used Dyngus Day as a theme for a party, for a fundraising activity but because of the all the fun, weird quirky rituals associated with the event, it took on a life of its own. He says Buffalo, New York has become the Dyngus Day capital of the world and so, what started out as a Polish tradition has now really turned into a regional celebration and became a Buffalo thing so now people of all ethnicities celebrate Dyngus Day because on Dyngus Day everyone is Polish.
Paula D’Amico introduces us a Fran Nowak who is making sure to keep the Polish tradition alive for her family. Paula chatted with three generations of this family who are making sure their heritage lives on. Frans tells us the family traditions goes way beyond Easter, it goes into Dyngus Day and beyond. Fran says it’s a second Easter Sunday, we eat the same foods, we go to the parade as a family, we do it all together. She says we tell a lot family stories and share a lot memories, we laugh a lot and have a lot of fun.
Eddy Dobosiewicz takes Emily to one of his favorite places, the Happy Swallow and says it is a family-owned operation and introduces us to the owner Tom Golimowski. Eddy says when you step into a place like, the Happy Swallow it’s like stepping into a time machine; the sounds, the smells the taste of it evoke memories of your childhood or an earlier time without question and there are very few places like it.
For more information on the parade and celebration go to DyngusDay.com