Monday, March 24, 2008

Hungarian Easter Monday weather: showers!

Easter Monday in Hungary means one thing to young girls and women of marriageable age: watch out for showers!

This is the day when Hungarian young men carry out the tradition of the "Easter sprinkling".

Here's how the events of the day have usually passed for unmarried women and girls, according to Anikó Gergely's Culinaria Hungary:

They wear pretty clothes and await the unannounced arrival of their admirers. Girls take a pride in attracting many visitors and "waterers". After the boy has carried out his ritual role, he is offered gaily painted eggs, home-baked cookies, and an alcoholic drink [if he is of the appropriate age]. He is then free to go on to the next girl. The sprinkling with water and the gift of Easter eggs is a pre-Christian fertility symbol far older than the celebration of Easter.
Often the boys and young men were expected to recite a "sprinkling poem" before showering the girls with water. Some examples of these poems can be found on the Hungarian Heritage Museum webpage about Easter Sprinkling.

Rooted in old Hungarian country tradition, this custom is not as prevalent today as it once was, but it still can be found in Hungary. Today, however, instead of the bucket of water, girls often find themselves sprayed with a few splashes of perfume.

In my opinion, that's quite an improvement on this age-old beloved Hungarian tradition.


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