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Sprinkling, an Easter Monday Tradition

10 April 2023

Easter Monday, which is a holiday in Hungary, is a celebration of profane human joy, especially youth. Over the years, this day has become more and more about symbolic customs than about going to church, and sprinkling of girls by boys, which has changed a little, but still retains its roots, is one of the most important.

Folklore has attached a lot of meaning to sprinkling: it also refers to the cleansing power of water and symbolizes fertility.

After sprinkling, the boys traditionally received red or ornate eggs from the girls, as red symbolizes love. Nowadays, boys get a sweet egg, or at least a painted egg. There are many variations and techniques of both embroidering and painting eggs.

The practice of sprinkling with cologne and smelly water instead of water became common between the two world wars. Earlier, girls were dragged to a well and doused with a bucket of water.

Sprinkling is a central European Easter tradition. In Hungary, written records of the custom date back to the 17th century.

Nowadays, the practice is becoming less common, especially among teenagers.

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