Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Its date is different every year because its the first Sunday that follows the vernal equinox and the full moon that comes after that. The first national holiday is Good Friday, than Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday and it ends with Easter Monday.
The main tokens of the Easter holiday are eggs, bunnies and lambs. Eggs symbolise fertility, the bunnies’ inception is currently unknown and lambs mean sacrifice.
The preparation for this holiday starts a week before already. People decorate their homes with catkin branches and hang eggs on them or they make ‘bunny nests’ with grass with eggs, but bunny or chicken statues are very popular too.
On Easter Monday boys and men visit their female relatives, friends or neighbours to sprinkle water (or perfume these days as well) on them, because women are like beautiful flowers and they don’t want them to be withered. This tradition starts with the men reciting a poem and asking at the end if they can sprinkle the water. After that in return of the ‘sprinkling’ they get painted eggs, chocolate or money.
Egg painting has a very serious tradition in Hungary. In the old days people used natural colouring such as the fluid of onion and red cabbage. Nowadays people use artifical dye or stickers, but the stores are full of eggs and rabbit statues that are made of chocolate. Hungarian folk artists decorate eggs with the famous Kalocsa pattern and use duck or goose eggs because they are bigger than the regular chicken ones.
Children always get presents from their parents and relatives. They are often challenged with an egg hunt in the house or in the garden.
A typical Hungarian Easter breakfast contains boiled ham and eggs (boiled or stuffed) with fresh bread, horse radish and seasonal vegetables such as regular radish. Another dish is a milk-loaf that is made in a braided pattern.
I wish you all a happy Easter! 🙂