Published: April 10 2023
- The Origin of the Tradition
- Significance of Red Eggs
- Evolution of the Tradition
- Forgotten and Different Practices
The Origin of the Tradition
The Easter sprinkling custom goes back to pagan times and was later adopted by the Christian religion to represent purification and baptism. Young men splash water or cologne on their female family members, friends, and even strangers as a symbolic act of renewal.
Significance of Red Eggs
During the tradition, boys receive red painted eggs as rewards for splashing water. Originally, the eggs symbolized fertility and birth, while in Christian beliefs, they represent the resurrection of Christ, and the red paint signifies the blood Christ shed for humanity.
Evolution of the Tradition
In the past, young girls would dress in their best clothes, and boys would throw them into the river, lake or drinking trough. As time passed, the tradition changed, and nowadays, boys sprinkle a bit of cologne or water on girls. The girl's wetness is said to indicate their desirability for marriage.
Forgotten and Different Practices
Two other associated traditions in Hungary which have become less popular are whipping the girls with wooden whips and reverse sprinkling. Slovakia and Czechia still include whipping in their celebration as it is believed to keep them from catching illnesses throughout the year. In reverse sprinkling, girls pour water on boys as revenge, but this tradition has disappeared in Hungary.
This unique Hungarian tradition is a way to celebrate Easter, renewal, purification, and Christian rebirth. It portrays cultural origins and has evolved to become a more harmless and fun-filled activity.