by Esme Addison
When I visited Wavel Castle in Krakow, I was really taken with the dragon mythology associated with the area and castle. I knew when I heard about the Wavel Dragon that I would one day write about it. I didn’t think I’d add it to my Enchanted Bay Mystery series because mermaids are enough… right?
I found a way. It just came to me… by accident. Not planned. Not outlined. It just popped into my head the way plot points do for writers. And et voila there were dragons in my story. No spoiler alerts but it’s done (believe it or not) in the same realistic way I deal with women descended from mermaids – having mermaid DNA.
Cozy mystery blogger and proud Polish-American Cozy Up With Kathy and I got together again, to celebrate Dyngus Day by discussing the history of the day, and the dragon mythology in my A Hex For Danger.
But First A Little History
If you’re not familiar with Dyngus Day, it falls on the Monday right after Easter Sunday. Historically, it is a Polish holiday celebrated across Eastern Europe and in the U.S. by Polish Americans. It is a day that not only celebrates Polish culture but is also a day for many to enjoy themselves after the restrictions imposed by Lent.
Dyngus Day can be traced all the way back to a holiday called Śmigus-Dyngus that is celebrated both in Poland and the Ukraine. The traditions of this holiday began back in 966 A.D. with the baptism of Prince Mieszko I and the celebrations following the first Polish monarch being baptized into Christianity.
Dyngus Day has become a wonderful holiday to celebrate Polish-American culture, heritage and traditions. One of the most common traditions on Dyngus Day is for boys to douse girls with buckets of water, squirt guns and wet towels.
On Easter Monday, boys would sprinkle the girls with water and tap them with pussy willows. On Easter Tuesday, the girls would do the same to the boys. These days at modern Dyngus Day parties, it is common practice that both men and women trade water and pussy willow equally.
Pussy willows play a big part in some Dyngus Day celebrations as many men and women flirt with playful taps. Branches of these plants are used as it’s one of the first budding plants of spring.
Watch the video below and learn more about Dyngus Day… and dragons in Polish mythology.