The origins of Easter are not a simple story, so Easter itself is one of our most complicated holidays, thanks to the fact that it combines three different things. It has a folk line, but we can also call it natural that Easter coincides with the spring equinox, that is, it is a symbol of the beginning and rebirth. And this has its own folk mysteries, festive formulas, which will be discussed later. In any case, Easter is a moving holiday because, in addition to the movement of the Sun, it also follows the movement of the Moon. From ancient times, natural peoples have celebrated spring, that is, the rebirth of the world and nature, so in terms of origin it is the oldest of this trinity. It was only later that the mysteries of the two great religions came upon the feast and took its primacy.
Easter is considered by most to be a Christian holiday, but this is not true in this form. It was only canonized at the Council of Nicea in 325 as the greatest feast of Christianity, formerly a Jewish feast, which to this day is called Passover. The Jews, one of the most important stages in the history of their people, are celebrated on this day, which is nothing more than an exodus from Egypt.
"I am the Eternal, I will deliver you from the bondage of Egypt, I will deliver you from their service, I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and great judgments." (Moses II. 6: 6-8) - read in the Bible. The word Passover, by the way, means to go, to retreat. Four hundred years of slavery come to an end at this time, preceded by 10 plagues in Egypt immediately. This story is known to most people, and we are certainly not talking about a hilarious story. The final plague is that the angel of the Lord will kill every firstborn in Egypt, but the Jews will anoint the doors with lamb's blood, so the angel will recognize the elect and not hurt them. This is why the lamb has become one of the most important symbols of Easter. In short, this is Jewish Easter.
Christian Easter may not even need to be presented, as most are familiar with this version of the feast that glorifies the resurrection of Jesus. The beginning of Flower Sunday, which marks the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, is followed by Good Thursday, when we remember the Last Supper. On Good Friday, the bells will be silenced and the world will be darkened, because then Jesus will be crucified. Good Saturday, the last day before the actual Easter, when Jesus is lying dead in his grave. And finally Sunday will come, that is, the feast of the resurrection of Jesus. These are the holidays of Christianity, Monday is no more, watering and painting eggs is a folk holiday, and although many do not know it, religion has nothing to do with it.
Painting Easter eggs and watering girls is still very popular in many places today, but overall, these are also slowly starting to go out of fashion, especially in larger cities. Which isn’t necessarily a good thing, since we’re talking about the last relics of Easter customs that have started to wear out in the last thirty years. Today’s 50s and 40s may still be going to water and the girls are waiting for the bachelors, but unfortunately they don’t remember older Easter customs anymore, even though they were kept by their parents.
Such was the consecration of fire, food, and water, in addition to watering and painting eggs, which was born in the spirit of the rebirth of nature. Giving the green branch was also part of Easter, which in addition to the spring greeting was also a nice courtship gesture, provided that certain branch was decorated with colored ribbon. The good news was that this branch was accepted by the coveted lady, because it meant accepting the lad’s approach as well. If we go back to even older times, the passion games that were paired with Easter songs should also be highlighted. It was at this time that the story of Christ’s suffering was brought to life, the “theatrical” performances, but they were also more of a village setting.
The origin of Easter watering
The origins of Easter watering are also a folk tradition. As already mentioned, it has nothing to do with the crucifixion of Jesus or the withdrawal of the Jews from Egypt. Part of spring and rebirth, if we think about its symbolism, it will soon become clear. The egg is a symbol of fertility that a woman gives to a man. And after what does the lad get this beautiful symbol? Well after watering. Well, let’s leave everyone’s imagination to what that particular splashing water might suggest. However, from the rather raw symbolism, a serious branch of art developed already in the early Middle Ages, and that is egg painting. Today, unfortunately, this has also disappeared, but in the past it was possible to book a beautifully crafted egg as a work of art.
Perhaps the most interesting of the Easter symbols is the rabbit. It is a symbol of Germanic origin, which many associate with the Germans, and it came to us quite late, only in the 19th century. Its origin is quite complex and obscure. According to some opinions, the Easter Moon used to resemble the image of a rabbit, while others said that due to its fertility, this lovely animal grew into a symbol of Easter. And many mention a goddess named Ostra who woke up a frozen little bird on the day of the spring equinox, but revived as a bunny for some obscure reason. In a word, there are quite a few explanations for this Easter symbol.
The other most important Easter symbol is the egg, which thankfully needs far less explanation than the bunny. It is the most ancient symbol of the rebirth of life, of fertility, and no matter how small, it symbolizes the whole universe. Egg painting has a library of literature, more precisely on the symbolism of egg painting itself, which unfortunately almost no one knows today. In addition, Hungarian egg painting is world-famous, as in addition to the most common two- and four-field eggs, we also practiced egg painting divided into 16 fields. This is called ramification, by the way. And a male egg actually means it’s decorated. Our most common motifs are tulips, pine branches, roses and apples.
The lamb is now less associated with Easter symbols, when in fact it is the oldest symbol of Easter. It can be traced back to the exodus of the Jews from Egypt, when members of the chosen people anointed the door jambs with lamb’s blood so that the angel of the lord would escape their houses. Later in Christianity, the symbol already refers to Jesus, who as we know is the lamb of God and has died for the sins of the world.
Easter poems, rhymes
In connection with Easter, many poems and rhymes have also been born over time, as what would a watering or spring greeting be worth without some kind of rhyme. Traditionally, after reciting the poem and watering, the lad receives the gift, or as a new habit, money for the little ones. Unfortunately, by now, most watering poems have become equivalent to “art songs,” often spiced up with shields and erotic content. In the past, however, more serious, more beautiful poems left the lips of the lads, which must have been memorized. If you’re curious about old watering poems, here’s a couple.
Easter programs from recent years
Fortunately, in our rushed world, as a counterpoint to globalization and the technological revolution, preservation of tradition is also present. To this end, great Easter programs are held throughout the country every Easter. Unfortunately, 2021 is an exception in this respect due to the Covid epidemic, and even as early as 2020, most programs were canceled, but we hope this will end once and for all, you can go to Easter again. Budapest also offers many Easter programs, from lamb festivals to musical and dance parties, but the real tradition-preserving programs entice people to the countryside. From Szentendre, through Esztergom, to Tihany, the festivities take place everywhere. We would like to highlight just one of the many possibilities, and that is the Hollókő Easter Festival. If you like traditional, folk programs, be sure to visit the three-day festival, where you can learn the art of real egg painting, tell the secret of making Easter delicacies, take part in a real village sprinkling and try many other great things. Believe me, it will be like flying back a bit in time.
Easter customs had not been a part of gift giving before, nor can it be hidden that our shopping-based consumer society brought it to life. As a matter of fact, however, buying gifts has become a big part of the holiday these days. This is shown, among other things, by the statistics, we spend spectacularly more during the Easter period than on weekdays, and this is reflected not only in the purchases of ham and eggs, but also in other things. Back in 2019, GKI Digital conducted a survey that found that 35 percent of people over the age of 18 thought they shouldn’t buy an Easter gift, but the remaining 65 percent were of the opinion that they were ill. Of course, part of the truth is that only 1 percent of those surveyed think that giving presents at Christmas isn’t mandatory. We note in parentheses that the grandparents of today’s forties didn’t give each other presents even at Christmas. So trends are changing fast, who knows, maybe in 20-30 years, gift-giving will be mandatory as early as Easter? In any case, we are now showing the top three gift sending ideas.
Top 3 Gift Suggestions for Easter
1. Happy Easter gift package
The good thing about the Happy Easter gift package is that it is just as perfect a surprise for men as it is for women. In the elegant gift box, the decorative straw hides specialties like the Whip Amulett Sweet Lime Leaf Wine or the Organic Herbal Tea with Chamomile and Hibiscus to highlight just two of the exclusive surprises. After watering, it can be an extremely gallant gift, but it can also be taken as a watering can for a loved one, as compensation for the “cold shower”.
2. For little ones Easter gift package
At Easter, of course, the little ones should not be forgotten either, our gift package made for them is full of great surprises, which every child is guaranteed to enjoy. In addition to the premium fruit puree syrup, there is also a sugar-free lollipop and dark chocolate spiced with lyophilized fruit pieces in the lovely gift box. Of course, there is a Kinder surprise package here and a plush bunny also hides the decorative straw. The bunny might not be able to bring a kinder gift selection.
3. A drop of nectar for an Easter gift package
Our drop of nectar gift package can be a great surprise for sprinklers, but it is also a super choice for a corporate Easter gift. It is not yet widespread in Hungary, but in the Anglo-Saxon countries it is fashionable to greet colleagues at Easter. And, why not, whether it’s the religious message of the holiday or the spring greeting, in both cases we’re talking about a very nice holiday. In this elegantly solid gift package you will find premium fruit puree syrup, complemented by exclusive fruit tea, but the gift selection also includes a handmade dark chocolate spiced with lyophilized pieces of fruit.
A little bit of every holiday is about the gift, as we symbolically thank you at such times that we got something, that there is something that sets us apart from the rush of time. Easter programs can also include greeting each other, take a look around at surlepetesem.hu, and you will surely find a selection of gifts that you would like to welcome to the famous holiday.