A Quick Guide to Hungarian Easter Traditions

There are innumerable traditions and symbols related to Easter, which are shared across many nations, like Palm Sunday or the feasting on Easter Monday. At the same time, there are some which are slightly different or non-existent elsewhere – just think about the ‘watering’ of girls in Hungary.
Sokszínűvidék has put together a quiz where you can test your knowledge on Easter traditions, but we have decided to turn this into a guide and explain the differences between international and Hungarian customs. Let us begin with terminology: Easter in Hungarian is Húsvét which is literally comprised of ‘meat’ and ‘taking’. This compound word literally serves as a reminder that the 40-day lent has ended. There is a bit of a trick to Palm Sunday since in Hungarian, it is called Virágvasárnap, a compound word again, comprised of virág (flower) and vasárnap (Sunday). This might create some confusion, as it is said that Jesus was welcomed with the symbol of peace, palm branches, into Jerusalem, and not with flower petals. Since there are no palms in Europe, in many places during the celebration, willow or yew branches were used – just think about the other English term for Palm Sunday: Yew Sunday.

So, what about the symbols and things we eat? Hungarians look at the Easter lamb in the same way as all Christians: it is the symbol of the sacrifice that the innocent Jesus made for humanity. Even though the tradition of painting and gifting eggs stretches back way before Christianity, Hungarians have developed an entire craft around it. After all, no one can deny that the handcrafted, intricately decorated Hungarian Easter Egg is a gem in itself. The patterns resemble embroidery; this is why it is called hímes tojás, translating to ‘embroidered egg’.

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onda likes this.
@Holy Cannoli Trying not to laugh... trying not to laugh... trying not to... :D
Eva likes this.
Admittedly I don’t know much about Hungary. However, any country that has a tradition of “watering of girls” has much to offer the rest of the world. If I had a say in it, I'd suggest watering the girls a little more often than just on Easter.
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