Did you know that Poland has a “soaking people with water” day? Or more correctly, Poland has a “Wet Monday,” known locally as “Smigus Dyngus.” This Polish tradition adds itself to other such Polish festivals like Fat Thursday, Black Friday, All Saints Day and the drowning of Marzanna. So here’s a quick guide to Poland’s Wet Monday, in case you are unaware of what is happening and you end up getting drenched.
What is Wet Monday?
Wet Monday takes place annually on Easter Monday in Poland where people get water thrown on them. Traditionally guys soak girls on Monday, and Tuesday is time for revenge, with girls soaking the guys. It is said that if you don’t wake up early on Wet Monday, you will be awoken by having water poured on you. This happens all over the country in family homes, universities and flats. The festival dates back a few centuries. Boys would sneak into girls rooms on Easter Monday and throw buckets of water over them while they were still in bed. After that, the boys would spank the girls with pussy willows. In some Polish regions, boys would chant “Dyngus, dyngus, po dwa jaja; nie chcę chleba tylko jaja”, which translates, more or less, to “I don’t want bread, only eggs.” It is also said that the girl who gets soaked the most will be the next one to get married.
Who celebrates Wet Monday?
Depending on your outlook on being soaked with water, it may be more of a day to avoid, than one to celebrate. Many Polish girls want to hide away that day for fear of being soaked and embarrassed in public. But generally it is a day that is well-known and celebrated all over Poland and in Polish communities overseas. Similar traditions also exist in Thailand (with Songkran), Lithuania and Slovakia.
When is Wet Monday?
Easter Monday every year is Wet Monday. It’s a public holiday in Poland and part of the Easter Christian Festival. It is normally around the start of Polish spring. However, parts of Poland are still covered in snow around this time.
How to survive Wet Monday
So now that you know all about it, how do you survive this day as a visitor to Poland? First things first, the festival has developed gender-wise, which means it’s not only about girls getting soaked. Everyone is now at risk of getting wet, and in some towns and villages they hold fun water fights and competitions. So no matter who you are, or where you might be on Easter Monday, be sure to be ready for it.
On that day, don’t carry around valuables or electronics. Belongings such as passports, important work documents, laptops and smart phones should not be carried. You could end up completely soaked with a bucket of water and therefore your belongings will be ruined. Secondly, don’t dress up in style. Wear clothes that are less important to you – old and worn T-shirts and jeans, clothes that you don’t mind getting wet. It’s also a good idea to bring spare clothes, especially for girls, who still attract more water than guys.
Stay sharp and keep focused on the people around you. Some people might suddenly come out of the bushes with a bucket of water and throw it on you, so it can also be hard to spot even if you are alert. But it’s not all doom and gloom, it’s only water, and it’s only a bit of fun, so…
How to get involved in Wet Monday?
Wet Monday is a light-hearted, fun tradition, so why not get involved? Keep your eyes peeled for the organised water fights that take place, look out for the words Smigus Dyngus, Dyngus Day, Wet Monday, Lany Poniedziałek or Poniedziałek Wielkanocny. Here are a few of the organised Smigus Dyngus events this year, many more exist all over Poland.
Smigus Dyngus, Nowy Targ
The town of Nowy Targ is hosting a Smigus Dyngus event, costing 20 złotych. Check their Facebook page for full details.
Smigus Dyngus, Pelplin
Smigus Dyngus, Świnoujście
The gorgeous Polish seaside town of Świnoujście will play host to a Wet Monday event. This would be a unique place to see it as it is also by the sea, and sits on the border to Germany. Full details appear in the local Świnoujście news site.
So good luck, have fun and stay safe on Wet Monday! You might also like to read about these traditions that only Polish people understand.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.