Midnight Resurrection Ceremonies
Easter in Hungary is observed in accordance with the rituals of the Eastern Orthodox Church. On Holy Saturday, worshippers congregate in the church for midnight resurrection ceremonies. There, the devotees sing Easter songs, chant hymns in the praise of Lord Jesus Christ and admire the sacrifice done by him, for humanity. After the church service is over, people carry a statue of Christ and religious banners and gather to form a procession, which passes through the parish. Chanting of hymns can be heard in the procession.
The Hungarians regard 'Lent' as the Great Fast for Easter. Since meat is forbidden during Lent, the day before Ash Wednesday is called 'meat abandoning Tuesday'. On Holy Saturday people take food baskets filled with kalбcs, red eggs and salt to the church, to be blessed by the clergyman. The blessed food is then eaten by the devotes, right after the resurrection ceremonies culminate.
Sprinkling, the very popular custom of Easter in Hungary, is observed on Easter Monday, which is also known as 'Ducking Monday'. On the day, boys playfully sprinkle perfume or perfumed water on girls. Until some time back, young men used to pour buckets of water over young women's heads. In the present time, they spray perfume, cologne or just plain water, and then ask for a kiss and a red egg. This is a very interesting tradition of Easter in Hungary, followed since a long time.
The most spectacular of the Eastertide folk-festivals is the so called 'busojaras' (walk of the busos, legendary monsters), in the Mohacs district. Men wearing frightening devil masks parade through their village, shouting and making rhythmic sound with the help of old tins and dishes. According to the legends, the locals once managed to scare away the invading Turks by wearing awful looking monster masks. Hence, it has evolved as a very popular custom of Easter in Hungary.
Easter eggs are beautifully decorated in Hungary, for the ceremonious occasion. The traditional methods of painting the eggs are still followed by people in the country. The patterns range from simple to intricate, and make the egg look very attractive. The folk patterns are drawn on the eggs by using molten wax. Eggs are also painted. The painting liquid is traditionally made from onion skin, green walnut, wild pear or any other vegetable that yield natural color.