Easter in Hungary

Hímes tojás

The photo I got from here.

Its amazing to me that there are so many and so different traditions around Easter country by country. Here you can read about the Hungarian traditions and on the photo you can see a “Hímestojás” (the painted egg) which is mentioned in the text.

“Easter Monday (Dousing Day, Water Plunge Monday) Locsolkodás is the main reason for which eggs are decorated in Hungary. This day provides for plenty of mischief. Boys surprise the girls by dousing them thor-oughly with buckets or bottles of water all the while reciting a little rhyme: Good day, good day, my lily, I water you to keep you from wither-ing, or Water for your health, water for your home, water for your land, here’s water, water! Don’t shriek and cry and run away: It’s good for you on Dyngus day. Formerly this practice was much rougher, for young men literally dragged girls to ponds, wells or streams at dawn and threw them in. It was expected that the girls accept this all good-naturedly and reward their tormentors with decorated eggs, bread and a glass of brandy/wine – or all three. The dousing was supposed to make of them good future wives with many children.

Hungarian girls, obliged to color twenty or even thirty eggs for a special boyfriend, knew that he might be given many more eggs by several different sweethearts. The lucky recipient would put them all away for several weeks and then get them out again to have another look: the girl whose egg had lost most color was pining for him.

Mostly every village had its own egg-decorating artist (íróaszszony = writing woman), an old woman who had done the work all her life. From her the HÍMESTOJÁS could be obtained by those who were not very skilled.”

by Emese Kerkay.

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10 Responses to Easter in Hungary

  1. It’s really interesting. I ever loved to know different habits and culture. I must say that in Italy, on Easter eggs we don’t have similar uses.

  2. Paul says:

    I hope that you have collected some eggs :)

  3. Kate says:

    I just read about “wet Monday” on Isabella’s blog. Sounds like fun to me!!

  4. jing says:

    no easter eggs here too.
    but happy to see lots of chocolate eggs in shops recently…:P

    shanghai daily photo

  5. Jackie says:

    When I lived in Transylvania there was a similar tradition but using perfume not water – the men of the family and friends would call by and sprinkle all the women with perfume. By the end of the day we smelt like nothing else, as everyone seemed to carry a different perfume! I think in the villages, if they are too poor to afford perfume, they use water.

  6. Zsolt72 says:

    Yes Jackie..the perfume is the city version…but nowdays I guess even in villages they go with perfume to water. And the smell is terrible at the end of the day…so lately the majority of girls rather escape (or close the door).:)

  7. kris says:

    my hair smells of cologne water and i just washed it last night !! well, the smell is nice actually :)
    happy easter to you and family , Zsolt!

  8. Lachezar says:

    Zsolt, amazing story, and the egg on your photo I’ve never seen anything like it!


  9. Tibki says:

    It’s all fun and games until your Hungarian father squirts you in the eye with perfume saying that same rhyme in what sounds like gibberish. XD

  10. Zsolt says:

    Tibki: Many women are escaping somewhere on that day avoiding experiences like yours plus all the drunken men.

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