Sprinkling girls (locsolkodás) with water or perfume might seem like a strange tradition, but it is still going strong in Hungary.
Back in the old days, men were allowed to throw a bucket of cold well water over girls of marriageable age and even dip them in a stream on Easter Monday. Today, men still do the “sprinkling” but mainly with perfume instead of water, although there are villages where you can find the original tradition intact.
Girls might scream when drenched with water – or sprayed with perfume – but they secretly love it. They wear pretty dresses and await the unannounced arrival of their visitors, who will be awarded with painted eggs, home-baked cookies and a drink.
This tradition is associated with an age-old fertility rite. But “sprinkling with water” is also the sign of baptism, and this custom can be traced back to the legend of Jerusalem as well.
According to the story, Roman soldiers wanted to silence the women of Jerusalem who were proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus, so they poured water on them.
Of course, egg painting and egg hunts also take place in Hungary, and you can’t miss the traditional Easter dishes, including ham, braided Easter loaf, eggs and horseradish.