Being in love can make people do the strangest things. It just goes to show that animals aren’t the only ones capable of exhibiting bizarre courting behavior—not by a long shot. In the tradition of Valentine’s Day, let’s look at some cultures around the world—and the crazy stuff people do for love.
For those looking to have fun and maybe get a date after a rigorous observance of Easter, Dyngus Day is the perfect day. In this post-Lent festival, boys and girls douse those they liked with water or perfume. Aside from that, the boys also gently whip the girls they fancy with pussy willows. Roots of this Slavic festival can be traced back to pre-Christian times, where the dousing and whipping signified cleansing and renewal. Later on, the dousing came to be associated with the baptism of the first Christian leader of Poland, Mieszko I.
Nowadays, Dyngus Day is celebrated in countries around the world with a large Polish population. The festival is especially popular in Buffalo, New York, where Polish immigrants brought the tradition five decades ago. It has since become the perfect excuse for people to go out and find their future mates—with some revelers coming in from faraway states to celebrate the festival.