Easter in Hungary is celebrated in a grand way. It is a two day holiday which involves religious fervor and lots of funfare. These two days are thoroughly enjoyed by every Hungarian. The people from Hungary follow traditions and customs that are close to their homeland. Some of the popular customs that are still followed in Hungary are egg-painting and sprinkling perfumed water.
The main religious activities in Hungary start with Lent where people fast for 40 days. Lent in Hungary is known as the Great Fast. During Lent, people refrain from eating meat and a day before Ash Wednesday is known as ‘húshagyó kedd’ which means Meat Abandoning Tuesday in Hungary.
Midnight Resurrection Ceremonies- Easter rituals in Hungary are observed according to the Eastern Orthodox Church. A day before Easter Sunday is known as Holy Saturday and people assemble in the church to attend the midnight resurrection ceremonies. Worshippers sing Easter hymns and songs praising Lord Jesus Christ. After the religious service is done, people carry the religious banners and statue of Christ and form a procession. It starts from the parish by chanting songs and hymns.
Lent- Lent in Hungary is known as the Great fast for Easter. The Holy Saturday a day before Easter Sunday is known as ‘Nagyszombat' in Hungary. On this day people take basket of food that is filled with red eggs, kalacs and salt to church. This basket is then blessed by the clergyman. The food that has been blessed is eaten by the people after the resurrection ceremonies are over.
Ducking Monday- On this day, people follow their old traditions and customs. Sprinkling is a well known custom of Easter in Hungary. This custom is celebrated on Monday and is known as ‘Ducking Monday’. Men sprinkle perfumed water on women and then ask for a red egg and a kiss. Earlier men used to throw buckets of water on women. This is a fun tradition of Easter in Hungary that is still followed.
Busojaras- The folk festival of Easter in Hungary is known as ‘busojaras’. During this festival, men dress in scary devil costumes and walk through the villages. They shout aloud and make different sounds using dishes and old tins. According to the old tradition, the people scared away the Turk invaders by wearing scary masks. Therefore, since then this custom of Easter in Hungary is followed.
Egg Painting- Easter in Hungary is dull without Easter eggs. Easter eggs are painted in bright colors. This is a very important ceremony in Hungary. Painting is from simple to the most intricate where the Easter eggs are made very beautiful and attractive. People also draw folk patterns using molten wax. The colors used are natural like wild pear, vegetables, onions and green walnut. They avoid using artificial colors.
Easter Delicacies- Easter in Hungary is a time to make delicacies. Cakes, puddings and lamb roast with bread are the major desserts and main courses cooked. People also indulge in cooking a lot of traditional recipes as after fasting for 40 days without eating meat, this day is a time to feast on rich food.