Outdoor bush in full greens with lots of hand-decorated eggs hanging from colourful ribbons

2024 Grateful 42: Easter, religious and secular

I like the way Hungary does Easter. I like the idea of Easter trees, decorated in handpainted eggs threaded with buttons even though I’ve never given much thought to the secular aspects of Easter as it’s always been a religious holiday for me.

A collage of five hand-painted eggs hanging from a wire fence fasten with bottons. Lto R red egg with green and white floral designs 2. Pink egg with green and yellow floral designs 3. Dark green egg with white and gold details. 4 yellow egg with diamond sequins 5 white egg with red blue and green floral pattern

Wire fence with lots of painted eggs hanging from ribbons

I was in Ireland last Easter Sunday for Dawn Mass at the Abbey with my mam. This year it was all quite different.

Unlike Ireland, Easter Monday is a Holy Day of Obligation in Hungary (and in Germany, too). And unlike America, there is no dressing up in your Easter finest – although we made an effort on the Sunday. Here, Easter Monday is the day when the kids and grandkids descend on Granny. Easter Sunday seems to be a day for yourself.

I did my first Hungarian Stations of the Cross on Good Friday and listened to the wonderful Were you there … not at the same time though – which would have been rather special.

In all the years, I’ve never once stopped to consider the lunacy of a rabbit bringing chocolate eggs. Then a friend sent me a clip of Liam Neeson auditioning for the part of the Easter Bunny.

In fairness, he has a point.

Although I missed Dawn Mass in Ireland this year, I wanted to hold on to some part of our Irish Easter tradition. So, I invited friends over for a roast lamb lunch at 1 pm.

Six people from six different countries sat around a table in a tiny village in southwest Hungary. And for that I’m grateful.

Back to those eggs though….






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