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City Hotel Mátyás ***

Easter in Budapest


In Hungary Easter Sunday and Easter Monday are public holidays.

Egg painting is one of the oldest traditions, in fact it’s older than Hungary – painted eggs were found in some graves dating back to the pre-Magyar times. The technique was refined over the centuries and each region developed its unique and distinctive motives. Egg decorating became a form of art and it’s still part of the Easter celebrations today. Traditional Easter meals include boiled smoked ham, horseradish, boiled eggs, potato salad and Easter bread.

On Easter Sunday the Easter bunny brings presents for the kids, which they have to find during the Easter egg hunt. Traditionally on Easter Monday the boys visited the girls, recited a poem and doused them with buckets of water to ensure they become good wives and bare many children. This tradition has both Christian and pagan roots. In exchange for the dousing the girls would reward their visitors with Easter eggs, chocolate treats and a shot of pálinka. Today, perfume is sprinkled on the women instead of water.

The Easter Market on Vörösmarty tér is a great place to find some Easter-themed arts and crafts. Similarly to the annual Christmas Market, traditional Hungarian foods like kürtöskalács and lángos, roasted meats, fried sausages and other delicacies are also part of the offerings.