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Dyngus Day Organizers Warn to Pick Pussy Willows Before It's Too Late | Community Spirit

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Dyngus Day Organizers Warn to Pick Pussy Willows Before It's Too Late
Dyngus Day Organizers Warn to Pick Pussy Willows Before It's Too Late

Buffalo, New York - Dyngus Day organizers in Buffalo are encouraging Western New Yorkers to quickly harvest their pussy willows before it is too late. Above normal temperatures, with many days exceeding 70 degrees means that the normal late March pussy willow blooming cycle is occurring well before this year’s festivities. 

“Fuzzy buds on pussy willows, known as catkins, emerge from a closed bud stimulated by an increase in ambient temperature,” explained "Airborne" Eddy Dobosiewicz, co-founder of Dyngus Day Buffalo. “This current spell of historically warm weather has area pussy willow bushes thinking its April. Many pussy willow bushes that have been harvested in the past, have already bloomed causing the fuzzy little buds to start producing leaves.” 

The abnormally warm spring has fans of Dyngus Day concerned how the how the potential lack of fresh willows might affect courting rituals that rely on the plant.

“Along with the sprinkling of water, the use of pussy willows is an integral part of the Dyngus Day celebration,” said Jackie Schmid, organizer of the long running Dyngus Day party at the Leonard Post VFW #6251 in Cheektowaga. “On Dyngus Day, men and boys flirtatiously swat women and girls with pussy willows and douse them with water to attract their attention and affection. Without mass quantities of pussy willows for romancing, there might not be as many positive outcomes.”

To preserve pussy willows for Dyngus Day, people should cut their branches down as soon as possible and put end of stalks in a bucket of water. The cut pussy willows must be stored in a cool, dark space such as a basement or garage. These preventative actions should slow down the budding process so that they can be used on Dyngus Day.

A Polish-American tradition, Dyngus Day celebrates the end of the restrictive observance of Lent and the joy of Easter. Over the decades, Buffalo, New York has become the Dyngus Day Capital of the World attracting thousands of people from across the United States and Canada. Although celebrated in Buffalo’s Polonia neighborhood since the arrival of the first Poles in the 1870s, the city’s first modern Dyngus Day celebration was held 51 years ago by the Chopin’s Singing Society, a tradition that continues today. Dyngus Day Buffalo, the provider of marketing and organizational support to area celebrations was founded in 2005. Dyngus Day 2012 will take place on Monday, April 9th . Visit www.DyngusDay.com for more details.

 

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