Hungarian Locsolás – Easter Monday Sprinkling

Here I stand behind the door,
My Easter egg I’m asking for.
Ladies, better mark my word,
Bring my egg or here I mold.

This is how Easter Monday will start for many girls and boys in Hungary. Hungarian Locsolás (sprinkling) is, considered by many, one of the weirdest Easter customs that exists.

Locsolkodas

Easter Monday Sprinkling at Ópusztaszer, 2009

This folk custom is still very live and practiced widely in Hungary and Hungarian communities in other parts of the world (and judged by gender equalists). In medieval times it was known as Water Plunge Monday. The folk customs and beliefs of the Easter holidays are all connected with the renewal of nature and waters purifying and healing power plays the most important role. Sprinkling the girls was supposed to make them good wives and moms of many.

Before Easter weekend people are actually wishing girls and woman to get ‘many sprinklers’. On Easter Monday aka Dousing Day, groups of boys and young men visit the homes of girls and women of their lives sprinkling them with water, rose water or nowadays cologne. They recite one of the many existing sprinkling songs (or make up their own) and request their egg in exchange for the sprinkling. The more sprinklers the girl gets, the better.

In old times pure water was used, but the custom was a bit more drastic than a few drops of water. Young men and boys doused the girls with buckets of water at the well, while in many regions the girls were dragged to the pond or stream at dawn and thrown into the water. This custom is still revived every year at Hollokő, ethnographic village and UNESCO World Heritage Site in Hungary.

What do you think? Any interesting customs in your country?

This post was originally published on Eastok Europe last year.

Check out our other heritage posts.

 

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