By Mirella Otvos
Easter holiday comes from the Greek/Latin word Pascha, which is celebrated all around the world. Western Christians celebrate it on Sunday, this year on the 21st of April 2019. Easter is one of the biggest Christian holidays in the entire year, and according to the Bible it originally appeared when Jesus Christ resurrected three days after his crucifixion by the Romans in 30 AD.
In Hungarian, Húsvét (Easter) refers to the lent, which is the period of Christian observance happening on different dates each year. In 2019, it started from the 26th of March and ends on the 20th of April. During this period Christians commit fasting, especially foods containing meat. The Hungarian term Húsvét (which translates to ’the first day of meat intake’) refers to this period, and it lasts until the resurrectment of Jesus Christ, the first day of eating meat again after the lent.
Easter is often a public holiday all around the world, therefore the following Monday is given as a break as well, but most of the stores and malls remain closed and people spend their holiday at home. When Sunday comes, Hungarians usually eat lamb, bolied eggs, ham and drink wine. The Easter lamb symbolizes the sacrificial of Jesus, the wine symbolizes his blood, and the eggs symbolizes his rebirth. On Monday, men usually visit their female relatives and there is a so called traditional sprinkling when men sprinkle parfumes or water on the top of the head of girls so they do not fade as flowers. However, the true reason behind it is that according to the Bible soldiers, who were protecting the grave of Jesus, were triying to quiete women taking the news of the resurrection of Jesus. Water is the sybmol of purity, by the time this changed to new habits as parfumes are also used for this purpose, and girls in return paint eggs red or give chocolate eggs to their male relatives. Painting and decorating eggs became a traditional Easter ceremony in many places by now.
In modern sense, Easter became the holiday of children. Many younger children receive easter bunnies and chocolates just in general for no religious reasons. Children often wonder what sense it makes that bunnies come with the eggs, and there are several theories looking for its origin in connection to Easter. Some might believe that this was the cause of a mistake in a german translation, the original idea of bunnies come from the 16th century from Germany. Some people say that it appeared as one of a german mother could not give anything to her children, therefore she painted eggs and hidd them in the nest, and the other day when her children were looking for the eggs, a rabbit jumped out from the nest. However, some of us believe that it comes from pagan traditions before BC, which stated that Esotre (Ostara) german goddess, the lady of fertility and spring transfigured her favorite bird to a rabbit and entertained children by making her bird lay colorful eggs, and giving them to the children as a gift.
Since it is a traditional religious holiday, families like to spend it together, since there is not much to do in public, usually the stores remain closed and people arrange great shoppings before the holidays.