Monday, April 5, 2010

Feel the sting of my jelly bean black licorice whip OR A feminist critique of Easter Monday

Merry Easter Monday everyone! That's right, in some places the Easter celebration carries over from Sunday into Monday and in reality Easter Monday just might be the best part of Easter.

I'd like to say that although I've been doing a lot of holiday-themed blogs (I can't wait for the Arbor Day blog to drop) I feel justified in doing another one because:
1. I discovered Easter Monday and it is rad.
2. I couldn't think of any other blog topics.

I already liked Easter to begin with, before I even found out about Easter Monday. Any holiday that is closely associated with candy is alright with me, and Easter ranks pretty high on the holiday candy scale. Halloween is number one (thus it is my favorite holiday), and Easter is a close second. My favorite Easter candy is a Cadbury Cream Egg, but I can only eat one. If I eat more than one I always regret it because I never fail to get some kind of cream overdose and end up wishing the Easter Bunny had never darkened my door.

I kind of have a thing for weird holidays, and it turns out that Easter Monday derives from a religious celebration with feasts and eggs blah blah blah. Boring. The interesting part of Easter Monday is that historically it is also known as “Dyngus Day” or “Wet Monday.” Traditionally in Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic the boys would wake up the girls early in the morning by pouring buckets of water over their heads and whipping them on the legs with long thin twigs or willow switches.

Why? Like a lot of traditions, the original pure intent of soaking someone and whipping them has become lost in time. Some say it derives from pagan rituals and others from Christian ceremonies. At one time it was also related to courtship, and only young, marriageable girls got doused and whipped. That's cute. Perhaps as Wet Monday approached young men would talk to the girls they liked and say things like, “Hey baby, I've got a switch with your name on it.” And then after Wet Monday was over the girls would gather and brag about who whipped them.

If you didn't get lashed it meant you were unattractive, so basically on Wet Monday a woman got whipped or humiliated by being branded undesirable, which makes it sound like a lose-lose holiday for women.

Luckily, modern observances of Wet Monday have eschewed the practice of whipping women and are now mostly just giant, awesome post-Easter waterfights. All in all, Wet Monday is way cooler than Good Friday, Black Friday and Sunday Bloody Sunday put together. Unfortunately, there are no Wet Monday celebrations in my area so I think I will just eat jelly beans.


By the way, did you know that black jellybeans repel women? My fiancee hates them (which I think is a little racist) and she wouldn't come within 20 feet of me when I was eating some. She said I had licorice-flavored black bean breath. I told her that it could've been much worse. I could've been trying to pour water on her and whip her.

Some people just don't realize how good they have it.

4 comments:

  1. I need to get my hands on some Cadbury cream eggs. I bet they're all 75% off now....

    I also dislike the black jelly beans, so I guess thus far your hypothesis is correct.

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  2. I also can not stand black jelly beans
    !
    You're probably totally right about the poor girls, they pretended they didn't like it at the time but afterward were all "oh my gosh, that Kowalski boy who whipped my legs was soooo cuuuute" and compared bruise sizes.

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  3. I'm so glad I found this blog. Every Monday I get to learn something amusing and interesting.

    My friend and I invented our own holiday: Drunk Saturday: The Holiest of Days.

    Unfortunately I did not get to observe this great holiday this year.

    Also, black jelly beans are gross. But your fiance should be lucky to have you around, 'cause without you to eat them, they would go to waste.

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  4. Jacob, I am SOO uber glad you mentioned one of my favorite Polish holidays. The fist time I ever heard about it was in a class before Easter. The next Monday, I was minding my own business, trying to perfect my Polish, and this girl from class came out of nowhere and threw a ton of water in my face. I was so shocked, I'd forgotten about the previous Friday's lecture. What was really funny was when she did it to our professor a few minutes later. Very bold.
    You might like to know that in Poland, they also have paczki day, which is when they eat TONS of doughnuts on Fat Tuesday. It's a pretty remarkable country.

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