Monday, 9 April 2007

Wet Monday

I always find the Easter Octave a bit of an anti-climax in our secular culture. Yes, liturgically every day is a Solemnity, but I find things otherwise get back to normal far too quickly and the week lacks the festive feel of Christmas Week, when the forthcoming New Year ensures a continuation of the celebrations in the popular mind.

Today, the Easter Bank Holiday, is known in parts of Eastern Europe as 'Wet Monday' on account of the tradition of boys waking up girls by pouring over them a bucket of water! This originated with the custom of blessing houses with Holy Water, blessed at Easter (though some claim it goes back to an ancient fertility rite). In Poland there is supposedly a link to the baptism of King Mieszko I and his court on Easter Monday 966. Śmigus-dyngus, as the day is called in Polish, is consequently still a day for water fights, which seems a jolly good way of spending Easter Monday. Perhaps I should lurk outside the church with a water pistol as the congregation arrive for the midday Mass?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my dim and distant childhood, my parents put their collective foot down hard: water pistols OK, old scent spray bottles filled with water OK, egg-cups filled with water OK, coffee cups and anything bigger (including buckets) BANNED ! Mind you, we lived in town, in the country things might have got a bit wetter ...

2:29 pm  
Blogger Mulier Fortis said...


Would you like a Chrism Mass card, Fr Schofield? I hear, from Fr Whinder, that you didn't get a card from the Westminster crowd, as they'd run out...

4:43 pm  
Blogger Fr Nicholas said...

Mac - I'll be in Blackfen next Tuesday so if you'd like to leave a Chrism Mass card, it would be much appreciated.

Anon - urban life can indeed be tedious!

8:40 pm  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Father: Good grief! I know people are tired after Triduum/Easter but do they really need to be doused with water? ;-)

8:33 pm  
Blogger the next word is said...

Smigus Dingus is in fact two traditions - one involving the pouring of water, the other the chastising with twigs/small sticks!
Water has proved more enduring than the sticks.

5:38 pm  

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