Easter Monday – Picnics and Water Fights


Easter’s coming soon! Did you know that in many countries the day after Easter, called Easter Monday, is a public holiday? The map above shows in yellow all of the countries that celebrate it.

There are picnics, egg rolling contests and dousing of people with water that was blessed on Easter Sunday.

In Italy and Southern France, they have picnics. The Italians eat the hard boiled eggs that were decorated the day before Easter. The French serve omelets.


In Poland, the day is called Śmigus Dyngus. It’s also called lany poniedziałek (Wet Monday).  Traditionally it was an ancient tradition of young men looking for young ladies to marry. The boys would soak girls with water and hit them with pussy willow branches. The girls would get their revenge on Easter Tuesday by dousing the boys! Nowadays, it’s become a big water fight, involving water guns, spray bottles, squirt bottles and buckets.

Similar traditions are followed in Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine.

You can see a young lady getting doused in the video below…

You can learn a Śmigus Dyngus Song here.

Agnieszka Magnucka wrote, "I remember, when I was in primary school, that boys were trying to pour out water on girls. We were running away, but not too fast, we were pretending we didn’t want to get soaking wet…"

Though Agnieszka wrote that sometimes the custom was banned when she was older because some boys went overboard with the tradition.

If you’re visiting Poland on Easter Monday, make sure to wear galoshes and a raincoat!

Thanks for sharing your experience Agnieszka!

Mama Lisa

Image 1: Countries which have Easter Monday as an official holiday, cc.
Image 2: Soaking a Polish girl on Śmigus-Dyngus by Nationwide Specialty Co., Arlington, Texas — In Buffalo, N.Y., Stanley Novelty Co., 200 S. Ogden St. – Boston Public Library, cc.

This article was posted on Friday, March 18th, 2016 at 2:47 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Czech Republic, Easter, Easter Monday, Holidays Around the World, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

One Response to “Easter Monday – Picnics and Water Fights”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Monique wrote about Easter traditions in France:

    There are some people who make nest-shaped cakes with chocolate eggs in it but it is not a tradition per se. The tradition is rather that the typical main course is lamb. On Easter Monday, the tradition is to picnic and make a sweet omelette. If we add flour, it’s a big pancake called a “pascade”.

    We eat chocolate eggs and chickens. We also have chocolate bells for Easter. The bells are supposed to stop ringing on the evening of Holy Thursday and return on Easter Sunday. The Church forbade the ringing of church bells starting on Friday as a sign of mourning the death of Jesus, the bells rang again to celebrate his resurrection on Sunday. In France, it’s said symbolically that the bells have left for Rome and can’t ring.

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