How do Hungarians celebrate Easter? | Edit Vasadi Photography

Easter in Hungary

personal adventures

easter in hungary sprinkling


The biggest Hungarian Easter tradition (that is different from any other culture) is on the Monday following Easter. Men sprinkle the girls with water, and in return they are gifted with some red painted eggs. It’s mostly fun for the guys. Us girls don’t like it so much. We end up soaking wet or smelling really bad all day.


This tradition comes from the early ages when people used to believe in the fertility and cleaning effect of the water. Women were symbolized as flowers, who will wither without the sprinkling.

Locsolkodás (Sprinkling)

On Easter Monday (“húsvét hétfő”) everybody gets up really early. Men would dress up nicely in a suite, and go to visit all of their female relatives and friends to sprinkle them. There are two ways to “sprinkle the girl”. With a bucket of (mostly cold) water, or with a cheep (really bad smelling) perfume. The old tradition was cold water brought freshly from the fount, but in modern days men would just spray some perfume or cologne in women’s hair who would end up having so many different scents by the end of the day.
When men arrive to the house, they first have to ask a permission with a sprinkling poem, like:

I was walking in a green forest,

I saw a blue violet,

it had started to wilt,

may I sprinkle it?

After sprinkling, the girls would give them red painted eggs, (that they prepared days before) home made cookies and sometime even money. It’s common that the men would get really drunk at the end of the day, because at every house they get offered to drink some pálinka. Which is a really strong Hungarian fruit brandy.
There can also be some fun competition to see who can come up with the funniest or most original sprinkle poem, to make the women laugh. Unmarried girls would count who gets the most sprinklers.

Egg painting is also a really big part of the Hungarian Easter traditions

The most popular color is red, (symbolizing Jesus’ blood) and they are decorated with floral motifs, also found on Hungarian heritage folk costumes. Most common drawing technique is wax resist dyeing or to decorate blown eggs with tiny metal horseshoes.

Grass nest for the Easter Bunny

I also have a family Easter tradition that to me is really important to carry it over with my girls. The day before Easter Sunday we go outside to collect some fresh grass for the Easter Bunny. We would make a big nest close to the front door, so the bunny can easily find it. I like to decorate it with painted eggs and some chocolate. (My daughter, Miura also suggested to leave some vegetables out.) Next morning everybody is really excited, and the girls are running to see what did the easter bunny bring. We would have ham with horseradish, boiled egg and fresh vegetables. “Kalács”, some kind of braided Milk Loaf is also big part of the Hungarian Easter breakfast.


 

If you are visiting Hungary during Easter, don’t be surprised when you see girls soaking wet, screaming and running away from boys who are carrying huge buckets of water.

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