Easter Traditions in Hungary
There are many customs and traditions surrounding Easter in Hungary, and most of them are about celebrating spring and rebirth. Traditional Easter meals are ham, braided loaf and boiled eggs and pickled horseradish. The ham is first eaten on Holy Saturday evening, at the end of Lent. On Easter Sunday, the traditional festive food is lamb.
In some areas of Hungary, Easter Monday is the day of sprinkling. In old times, young girls were dragged out by force to the well or the water trough and poured with a bucket of water or taken by the creek and bathed. Men used to go from house to house to sprinkle girls while singing and rhyming, for which they got red eggs in return. Today, perfume is used for sprinkling instead of water.
The reward of sprinkling was and is still food and drink, mostly spirits, and painted eggs. Eggs are ancient fertility symbols, and the allegory of resurrection in the Christian Church’s symbolism.
Egg painting is one of the oldest traditions, in fact it’s older than Hungary – painted eggs were found in some graves dating back to the pre-Magyar times. The technique was refined over the centuries and each region developed its unique and distinctive motives. Egg decorating became a form of art and it’s still part of the Easter celebrations today.
On Easter Sunday the Easter bunny brings presents for the kids, which they have to find during the Easter egg hunt.
custom – szokás
tradition – hagyomány
to celebrate – ünnepelni
traditional – hagyományosan
braided loaf – fonott kalács
pickled horseradish – ecetes torma
sprinkling – locsolás
to be dragged out – kirángatva lenni
well – kút, forrás
water trough – esővíz csatorna
to pour – önteni, tölteni
bucket – vödör
creek – patak
in return – cserébe
instead of – valami helyett
spirit – szeszesital
ancient – ősi, ókori
fertility symbol – termékenységi szimbólum
allegory – allegória
grave – sír
to be refined – finomítva, pontosítva lenni
to develop – fejlődni, fejleszteni
distinctive motive – megkülönböztető motívum