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From “Sprinkling” through Egg – painting to Boiled Smoked Ham, enjoying Easter Holidays in Hungary

Hand-painted eggs, flower decorations, sprinkling – “locsolkodás” and Traditional Easter meals, include boiled smoked ham, horseradish, potato salad, boiled eggs and Kalács, a sweet Hungarian bread, are the special ingredients of Easter (Húsvét) in Hungary.

There are various customs and traditions Hungarians follow during Easter Holidays. Sprinkling or “locsolkodás” in Hungarian, is a tradition, where men and boys go from house to house, recite poems and sprinkle perfume, traditionally splash a bucket of water on women and girls to make sure they will blossom like flowers until next year, when they return.

Another remarkable tradition is egg – painting dated back to pre-Hungarian times. Eggs represent fertility and traditionally were painted red as the symbol of Jesus Christ’s blood. Women and girls awaiting for men sprinkling them at their homes hand – paint the eggs to offer in exchange together with a shot of pálinka and in some cases pocket money for young boys.

Food has an important role during Easter as well, for those, who follow the Christian traditions, it is obligatory to eat fish on Friday, while on Easter Sunday typically smoked boiled ham, horseradish and kalács are served on the tables. Besides salty food, there are many different desserts such as bejgli or zserbó , layered walnut and jam filled sponge cake covered with dark chocolate.

There are many programs and places, where one can find the real spirit of Easter in Hungary. One of them is Vajdahunyad Castle located in the City Park, which offers its own program including an Easter egg exhibition.

For those who are religious or interested in the celebration they can visit the Easter mass at Matthias Church on the Castle Hill. This stunning place was used for the coronation ceremony of Hungarian kings for many centuries.

Another place to enjoy the Easter Holidays is Szentendre, where one can try folk dancing, learn about different techniques how to decorate Easter eggs and as a bonus can enjoy an eccentric beauty contest for sheep at the Skanzen, an open air museum demonstrating traditional Hungarian life from different eras.

Those, who want to travel back in time should go to Hollókő, a village that is located 91 kilometers northeast from Budapest and was recognized as World Heritage Site for UNESCO. For three days the city becomes the stage of Easter Holidays celebrations. The special Sprinkling day is celebrated on Monday, where men and boys still use the traditional bucket of water to sprinkle their beloved women and girls.

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