Egg decoration (not simply painting) is an ancient art form typical in Eastern European countries. Hungarian decorated eggs can easily be recognized by the folk motives they use like dividing lines encircling the egg, half circles, intertwined loops and flower motifs, the symbolism of which lies in the Shamanistic heritage of nomadic Hungarians.
Traditionally, the girls spent their time with decorating eggs during the days before Easter, and then gave them to the young men after they had been “watered”. These days, however, the custom has been modified, as young men go to the homes of young girls they know on Easter Monday and sprinkle them with cologne accompanied by a frivolous verse relating the guys’ wish that the girls should not ’wilt’ for the coming year. The girls’ thanking the young men for the sprinkling is giving the young man a decorated egg.
The iconic BOCI (meaning ’calf’) brand of the Szerencs Chocolate factory (now owned by Nestlé, but never mind, we still hold the brand in high esteem as an old Hungarian trademark) came out with a varied collection of chocolate eggs covered in wrapping with these ancient motifs. They can come handy for girls who failed to make painted eggs but – by luck – they are still sprinkled on Monday.
You can read more about Easter customs in Hungary in previous posts of on the Fungarian blog: