Easter in our partner church village of Torockószentgyörgy in Transylvania lasts for three days. Fortunately, Reverend Emese gets help from a theology student who comes early to help her get organized. On the first day, members of the congregation attend a Sunday Easter communion service. Communion for the village’s Unitarian congregants signifies reaffirming the link to their covenant with God. Then they return home for a festive Easter dinner, which usually includes lamb. After dinner, the boys engage in the tradition called “watering the girls.” They call on the homes of girls, aunts or grandmothers and first recite a poem. In return, the boys are rewarded with a decorated Easter egg. In times past, the boys would respond by throwing water on the girl, but now they spray some perfume. When this ritual is completed, the youth all get together in one of the homes for a party.
On days two and three, Reverend Emese and the theology student visit the elders who were not able to attend the Easter service and bring them communion and conversation. This year they visited fifteen elders, who very much appreciated the opportunity to participate in the Easter celebration. Sadly, this tradition is dying out in the cities, but it continues in the villages of Transylvania.
Here’s an example of a decorated Easter egg. Reverend Emese created it by using red onion skins to create a dye, and then adding a leaf design by placing a leaf on the egg and securing it in a stocking before dunking it in the dye water.