Easter in Hungary

1.) History

Easter is a Christian feast that celebrates the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Easter is a moving festival and does not have any date fixed for celebration; it can fall on any date from March 22 to April 25th.

  1. picture: Mihály Munkácsy: Golgota (1844), 460x712 cm, Museum of Déri, Debrecen

Munkácsy a famous Hungarian painter, his paintings can be seen in the picture.

 2. picture: People go to Christian church at Easter

The girls wear the folk costume from Kalotaszeg.

2.) Origin of Easter and Easter Traditions

Easter origin can be traced back to pagan beliefs and practices. It is believed that the name Easter is derived from Eostre, the Teutonic Goddess of Spring.

    a.) Easter Sprinkling:

Most Easter traditions are associated with Easter Monday when boys set out to call on their female friends and relatives and sprinkle them with perfume or water. Girls, in return, treat them to home-made cakes or some drinks and present them with eggs painted mainly red, green or yellow. Children are also presented at Easter with either some chocolate eggs or a chocolate Easter bunny and Easter chick.

3. picture: Sprinkle with water in the village                     4. picture: Sprinkle with perfume in the city

    b.) „Sibálás”

It is a slovak folk tradition in the middle of Hungary. It is a typical in the Fejer, Veszprem, Komarno, and Pest counties. The most important accessory of the osier made SIBA /whip in other places/.
This is weave by the bigger boys on the Palm Sunday. The siba is usually 60 to 80 centimeters in length. In Pázmánd on the Easter Monday, early morning start the boys to the girls’s houses. It is considered lucky if the girls are in the bed yet. The boys go into the girls’s house (or into the her yard) and they beat her. The boys are standing behind the girl and they begin to chant:

Sibiribi tojásos
Keléses bolhásos
Esztendőre frissebb légy
Ne olyan lusta, mint most!

This is a little Hungarian language learning :-)

5. picture: Sibálás

3.) Symbols of Easter

There are various symbols that have been associated with celebrations. Some of these symbols are recognized worldwide while some of them have local origin famous within the city or country. Some of these symbols have pagan origins, while some have social and some have religious associations as well. Some of the symbols are briefly described below:

    a.) Easter egg

Eggs represent the season (spring) and the new life of the plants that wake up after the winter sleep. Eggs are painted with vibrant colors generally depicting the rising sun and the northern light. Eggs are hard-boiled eggs colored with bright red to indicate the blood of Jesus that was spilled.

Egg painting is one of the oldest traditions, in fact it’s older than Hungary – painted eggs were found in some graves dating back to the pre-Magyar times. The technique was refined over the centuries and each region developed its unique and distinctive motives. Egg decorating became a form of art and it’s still part of the Easter celebrations today. Traditional Easter meals include boiled smoked ham, horseradish, boiled eggs, potato salad and Easter bread.

    b.) Easter Bunny

Bunny is a humanlike rabbit, who according to legends baskets filled with coloured eggs, toys and candy to the homes of children on the previous night of Easter. The bunny hides the basket inside the house which the children have to find out after waking up on the morning of Easter. The symbol of Easter bunny is said to have originated in Germany.

    c.) Easter lily

Lily is one of the prominent symbols of celebrating this festival of resurrection. The lily flower is a symbol of purity, fertility and sanctity and it is commonly used for decoration.

The Easter lily is a symbol associated with motherhood. A symbol of Easter, the white lily signifies purity and hope. There are many legends related to the Easter lily flower. It's not just a flower meant to adorn house, but it has a lot of significance too. According to Roman mythology, the white Lily is associated with Juno, the queen of gods. It is said that at the time when queen Juno was feeding her baby son Hercules, some milk fell from the sky. The part of it that remained above the earth, paved way for the formation of Milky Way and the rest of it that fell onto the earth, led to the blooming of beautiful white lilies. White lilies are then an outcome of the milk of the mythological queen of heaven, Hera, through which these gorgeous flowers had sprung.



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