Easter in Hungary: Traditions and events
Easter – or “Húsvét” in Hungarian – is an important cultural and Christian heritage that’s steeped in traditions and abundant in delicious food, while both Easter Sunday and Monday are marked as public holidays in Hungary. Here, in our article we introduce how this holy holiday is celebrated across the Magyar metropolis and beyond.
– for information about Easter 2017 events in Budapest and across Hungary, click on the article below:
While it doesn’t quite seem like a fair trade, in return for each “sprinkling” the ladies give the men chocolate Easter eggs, specially decorated painted eggs, home made cakes and/or a shot of pálinka (a potent Hungarian fruit brandy). So on Easter Monday in Hungary boys and men go from house to house visiting family, friends, and sometimes colleagues spritzing a little Eau de Cologne on the female’s hair, picking up all kinds of treats along the way.
Painted eggs are part of a prominent Easter tradition in Hungary. Within the Christian tradition eggs were painted red (to symbolize Jesus’ blood), but in recent centuries this has changed to eggs being dyed many varied colors. The flower motifs that are often incorporated in the decoration reflect the embroidery and motifs found on Hungarian heritage folk costumes.
An elaborate technique is employed for the decoration: wax is used to draw the design on the egg, which is then dyed and it is slightly warmed so the wax melts off, leaving the white pattern on the otherwise coloured egg. Before the whole process the eggs are either hardboiled or the contents of the egg is blown out of the shell via a small pinhole at the top and bottom so that the decorative items last without rotting.
An alternative method is to dye the eggs a deeper brown colour by placing them in water coloured by onion skins. Then the pattern is scratched into the surface.
In modern Hungary the Easter Bunny brings chocolate eggs for young children and these are sometimes hidden in the house or garden, before they are found after an extensive Easter Egg Hunt. This usually takes place on Easter Sunday or Easter Monday in Hungary.
So how do you say Happy Easter in Hungarian? It’s “kellemes húsvéti ünnepeket!” Say what!? Ok, it’s pronounced: cal-am-ash hoosh-veh-tee oon-nap-ak-at.