Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Dyngus Day (Dyngus-Smigus)

Wet Monday -
Each year in Buffalo there is a day when every one is Polish (or at least they claim to be). A tradition started a long ago but growing in popularity each year. Some believe the tradition was founded back in 966AD when Prince Mieszko, the first king of Poland, along with his court were baptized in to Christianity on Easter Monday. The sprinkling of water inspired by the water baptism has been a key symbol ever since – thus “wet” Monday.

Farm boys trying to get the attention of their heats desire used this celebration in later centuries. They would sprinkle water on the legs of their girl. There are rumors that she may reply by with hitting back with dishes on Easter Tuesday.

Dyngus Day 2009 – Buffalo NY

On Monday April 13, 2009 there will be a Parade and 6 official Polish Taverns where they have guaranteed plenty of Tyskie Polish Beer and Sobieski Vodka. There will also be at least 21 venues listed on the official website where you will be able to find some of the Nations best Polka Music. This year there is a “Pussy Willow” Pass that will get you into all of the venues (can be as much as $10 each) and allows you to use the Official Sobieski Vodka, Dyngus Day Shuttle Bus System.

There will be more Dyngus Day parties and Sausage consumed in Buffalo on Dyngus Day that anywhere else in the world. It will be a time to rejoice and take part in all of the items that were sacrificed during Lent.

Needless to say – the Monday after Easter is a huge day in Buffalo.

One side thought or (glenism) I find it very interesting that when you look at the word roots for Dyngus there is some mention of buying back like in the form of a ransom. Pretty cool when you consider the Easter Story is just that – the bible uses the concept of how we were bought with a price / or ransom. Water is a symbol of clean start – after Easter we as Christians now believe that we have a clean start… Unfortunately – I think the modern Dyngus Day celebrations may look more like a post Easter Marti Gras than have any deep spiritual meaning.

The other interesting discovery was the diversity of the stories of what Dyngus Day is...

A little Polish / Buffalo history -

Growing up in Buffalo NY we had the pleasure of experiencing cultural diversity before it became fashionable. One of the great cultures that have influenced our area is the Polish Americans. This group really needs to be measured as a culture due to the ever changing European Borders of it home land. These border changes made it almost impossible to track the actual number of Polish immigrants to the USA. Many of the Poles were listed as Russian, German or Austrian.

As the Poles moved in to the Western NY they brought with them their strong religious heritage. There were 34 churches established by Polish Americans. The later and largest group of Polish settlers were Catholics but the early Polish settlers were Jewish. Later the Polish Baptist movement would be born in Buffalo.
It has been this Polish heritage that has keep alive the spirit of Dyngus Day.

Did you know?
  • The First Poles settled in Jamestown 12 years before the Pilgrim reached Massachusetts.
  • Sandusky OH was named after Jacob Sadowski who was one of the first immigrants to penetrate as far as Kentucky.
  • Kazimierz Pulaski, a Polish Patriot left for American Colonies when his country was over run. This event was a huge blessing to the future USA. He became the father of the American Calvary and is credited with saving George Washington at the Battle of Brandywine.
  • The world’s oldest working fireboat and National Historic Landmark is now the mascot of one of America’s most unique ethnic holidays. The Edward M. Cotter has been named “World’s Largest Dyngus Day Squirt Gun.”

More information and sources for some of my information.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Tom Was Right!

"The man who stops advertising to save money
is like the man who stops the clock to save time".

-- Thomas Jefferson

I have recently come across an interesting story that I believe we can all learn from. The story happened during a period of severe economic uncertainty.

The Great Cereal War
At the beginning of what we now call the Great Depression, cereal brand giants Kellogg's and Post were in a virtual tie for market share. Post responded to the economic times with a strategy of reducing marketing along with other traditional budget cutting moves. Kellogg's maintained its marketing levels and even expanded it. Their goal was to find new areas to build their brand. This strategy paid off for Kellogg's. When consumers came back to the market place in full force so did Post but it was too late. Kellogg's had established themselves as the sole market leader and held that position for over 50 years.

I think it is very safe to summarize this story with one simple comment - Tom was Right!

For more information see

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.

"I can't change the direction of the wind,
but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination."
-- Jimmy Dean

A New Season... Isn't it wonderful that we are given this gift once a year to clean the slate and start over... As we look forward to 2009 we are faced with challenges we never considered possible at the beginning of 2008. But with this new season we are given the opportunity to review what was successful and unsuccessful in the past. The key is always learning, never settling and always be ready to adjust our sails.

We may not be able to control all the outside forces that affect our business but we can control how we respond to them.

New challenges will require new kinds of responses. Alin Jacob recently said, "The keen observer has learned that business as usual will no longer do. They realize that new technologies are here to stay, and we must utilize them to our advantage or suffer the dire consequences."

I am ready and excited for the future. I believe that not only can a company survive these current economic times but they can continue to grow. Yes, adjustments (change) will be necessary but as Jimmy Dean pointed out the only unknown is the angle of our sails not our destination.

Blog soon