Happy ‘sprinkle day’

We’re hard-pressed to find an Easter tradition more interesting than what’s happening in Hungary.

Young women are getting dressed up…

Attila Kisbenedek / AFP / Getty Images

… so that men can throw buckets of water on them.

Attila Kisbenedek / AFP / Getty Images

Actually, Getty reports that they’re just practicing the Easter ritual, because when you throw a bucket of water on someone, you want to get it just right.

The “watering of the girls” is a fertility ritual going back to the 2nd century.

The Hungarian Girl explains:

Sprinkling is a very popular Easter custom in Hungary, observed on Easter Monday, which is also known as “Ducking Monday“. On this day, boys playfully sprinkle perfume or perfumed water on girls. Until some time back, young men used to pour buckets of water over young women’s heads. Now it is more common for men to spray perfume, cologne or just plain water, and then ask for a kiss and a red egg. This ritual is associated with fertility, healing, and cleansing rites.

  • MrE85

    I’m thinking most American women and girls would balk on this Old World tradition.

    • jon

      3 words.
      Wet t-shirt contest.

  • Jim G

    It dates back to the 2nd century? No woman I know would start this sprinkling or dousing with water as a fertility, healing, or cleansing rite on a chilly spring day. I’m surmising we might look to an older brother teasing his younger sisters as an origin of this tradition. Of course, I wouldn’t know anything about that.

  • Thomas Mercier

    Is this the basis for wet t-shirt contests during spring break?

  • Gary F

    Maybe that’s where the Gatorade dump came from?

    I wouldn’t advise this today, it might get you slapped.

    But then, everything is cool in Europe, right? I we could just be more like Europe.