Ostara and Dyngus Day, Sparkle-Style: Celebrating the Return of Spring

Sarah and I have decided to take Muse Rising in a new direction: we’re going to share more of our personal experiences on this blog–in addition to our stories and announcements. We’ll be tagging all of these posts “Sparkle Life,” so in the future you’ll be able to find them that way.

I figured I’d start things off by posting some of the photos I’ve taken recently.

Though Sarah and I are Pagan and celebrate Ostara, an ancient spring festival, not Easter, we love throwing parties, and we decided to host Easter dinner at our house for Sarah’s family. We dyed eggs as part of the feast!

Our table setup for Easter dinner.

Sarah made paper baskets for everyone (she was in full Martha Stewart mode :)), and we put in small treats as favors. This was her mom’s basket.

Handpainted wooden eggs Sarah and I have collected over the years from our trips to the Broadway Market, a European-style indoor marketplace with a strong Polish heritage. Each egg color signifies something particular; for example, black symbolizes remembrance. I chose black this year in memory of my grandmother, who passed away in December.

We had pussywillows for the centerpiece, in honor of Dyngus Day (more on that later!).

The butter lamb is a Polish tradition (Sarah’s family is Polish).

Placek, a sort of coffee cake.

We served all vegetarian food, and no one complained at all! Typical Polish fare includes kielbasa, so we had Tofurky kielbasa, instead, and Sarah made sweet-and-sour cabbage, lots of steamed veggies, and there was homemade rye bread.

The day after Easter is Dyngus Day, which is a very big deal in Buffalo, and we decided to go to the Dyngus Day parade for the first time–DESPITE BLIZZARDS. Well, you know, it’s Buffalo.

Before the parade, we went to the crowded (and free!) Dyngus Day celebration being held at the Corpus Christi Church–lots of pierogies, beer and, for some reason, bowling. There was also traditional Polish dancing.

My photos turned out horribly. 🙂 But it was fun to watch. The space was way too tiny; we were squished in the room like sardines, but everyone was really happy, anyway.
Sarah wearing her Polish princess crown and holding a bundle of pussywillows. Smiling even though she’s freezing. ❤

This happened. I have a weird fear of human-sized-and-shaped rabbits (but I adore real rabbits), so I cringe a lot around Easter time.

Poor cold puppy! We were all SO COLD, but we stuck it out through the whole (hour-long) parade!

So, the thing about Dyngus Day is that you’re supposed to whip the person you love/have a crush on with pussywillows, and/or squirt them with water. Yeah.

Even though it was beyond freezing, the firemen squirted the crowd with their hoses.

Most of the floats threw strings of red beads (for the Polish flag) or candy into the crowd. This van threw out actual butter lambs in boxes! Another float threw not only butter lambs but also…kielbasa. And I caught one. I thought it was a butter lamb, and I clutched it to my chest, and then Sarah was like, “Honey, you don’t want that!” and I looked down in horror at what I was holding. It was in a plastic bag, so it wasn’t messy or anything, but I didn’t know what to do with it and just dropped it on the ground. Someone else grabbed it. And then…we both admitted that the joke potential was so infinite in this circumstance (a lesbian vegetarian hugging a kielbasa…) that we would just pretend as if all of the jokes had already been spoken and continue watching the parade. 😉

Everyone was in such high spirits, despite the snow. There was a great feeling of togetherness, and I was so happy to experience Sarah’s Polish heritage with her.


About Sarah Diemer

I write about heroic, magical girls who love girls. I drink a lot of coffee. Follow me at http://twitter.com/sediemer or find out more about my work at http://sarahdiemerauthor.wordpress.com
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2 Responses to Ostara and Dyngus Day, Sparkle-Style: Celebrating the Return of Spring

  1. Those both sound like wonderful celebrations. We aren’t from particularly religious families, so we also just celebrate ‘Easter’ and other celebrations by seeing the grandparents. I have a pagan friend and we might do something for the next equinox. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous sparkly adventures! You are both so inspiring!


  2. BunnyKissd says:

    Oh my good gracious! How fun & funny! ^o^


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