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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

WORLD BEAT: Bystanders Drenched By Festive Poles

WARSAW, Poland -- Polish youths marked Drenching Monday by hurling water at unsuspecting passers-by and tourists in an exuberant reenactment of a rural custom.

The festival, also known as St. Drencher's Day, began centuries ago as a courtship festival in Poland's villages, where boys would drench maidens to try to win their favor.

Unlike many rural customs that have disappeared over the years, "smigus-dyngus" has become increasingly popular. And buckets of water are no longer reserved for young women.

Police warned there would be fines for anyone caught abusing the custom to ambush churchgoers or passers-by. Tourists were among the victims this year in Warsaw's pic