Easter Customs

There are a lot of interesting folk customs still alive all over Hungary. Many of them are connected with religious holidays, while others have older origins, from early, sometimes from prehistoric years. The two, most known customs of Easter are the "sprinkling" and the egg-painting. Both are very common in both urban and rural areas, among people of every age-group.


The old tradition is shown on the first two pictures. These photos here show folk costumes that people wear just for special occasions today. Today women wear casual dresses for sprinkling, not folk costumes. Also, men sprinkle with cologne, not with water. A couple of decades ago men poured water on women in rural areas and women changed their clothes after each sprinkling. Boys often dragged girls to the well and poured water on them with pail. Sometimes they washed them in creek.
The possible reason for this very old tradition is that people believed in the cleaning, healing and fertility effect of water.
Sprinkling Easter is a 2-day holiday in Hungary. On Monday boys and men visit all of their women relatives, friends, neighbors, often even if they are not close friends. Boys in small groups, fathers with their sons, or single men leave early in the morning and their "tour" last all day long. They greet girls and women with shorter - longer poems (mostly with a funny poem about "Eastern sprinkling") and sprinkle them with cologne. Women must be well-prepared, they treat men with dessert and beverages - and with hand-painted eggs. Women usually prepare in the previous days by cleaning up the house thoroughly, decorating, cooking and painting a couple dozen eggs.
Sprinkling2 There is a competition among young girls - who gets the most "sprinklers" wins. It is a shame if the girl is not ready early morning when the first visitor rings the bell.
The result? Women wear more then a dozen of different colognes by Monday evening, and sometimes the alcoholic beverages are harmful for men also. Many times, sprinkling continues on the next day in the working places and we, women wait the evening desperately to wash our hair.

Egg painting

Easter Egg There are many different painting method alive. The simplest way is to cook the egg envelopped into a dented leaf, in painting water. The covered part of the egg remains white and will show the pattern of the leaf.
Painting liquid can be made from onion skin, wild pear, green walnut or other vegetables yielding different natural colors.
Sometimes women "write the egg". They draw folk patterns on the egg by melted wax and put the eggs into painting after this. The egg remains white below the wax and will show the pattern.
But the most beautiful eggs are painted by hand with different colors following traditional folk patterns.
Easter Egg