We all love the long weekend that comes with Pentecost, but do we really know anything about the holiday itself? Let’s look at some of the traditions to understand what we celebrate, and to finally know why we get to have an extra free day every June.
What do we celebrate?
Pentecost is a Christian holiday which is celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter. It commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Christ’s disciples. As other religious holidays, it is based on Pagan beliefs, which the Christian religion builds on, and it has merged into one common holiday.
How do we celebrate?
Most people take advantage of the long weekend and travel around. The wellness centres and spas are always full this time of the year. Those who take the religious aspect of the holiday seriously usually visit the Csíksomlyó búcsú, which is the Csíkcsomlyó pilgrimage in Transylvania.
The Csíksomlyó pilgrimage
The Csíksomlyó pilgrimage is basically the largest Catholic celebration of the year for Hungarians. It is an annual gathering in Csíksomlyó, Transylvania, which attracts between 50,000 and 100,000 attendees each year.
Pilgrims have been gathering at Csíksomlyó for 450 years during Pentecost to honour the Szeklers of Csík who defeated the troops of John Sigismund during the battle of Tolvajos tető. The king tried to force the Szeklers to convert to Protestantism.
Pilgrims from Hungary travel to Csíksomlyó to honour the miraculous Virgin Mary statue and to be part of this very unique pilgrim meeting. It is a huge event every year with lots of programs and guests.
This year’s event will take place from 7 June to 9 June. Many travel agencies organise special tickets for the ceremony which includes transport, meals and lodging as well.
Pentecost traditions in Hungary
Choosing the Pentecost king
The king’s title can be earned by winning different games of skill. The Pentecost’s king is a very special title to hold, as the king gets invited to all the weddings, celebrations and holidays that year; and he also gets to drink for free everywhere.
Traditional courtship at Pentecost
Traditionally, the suitor has to put a Pentecost rose in the girl’s window, and the girl has to make a wreath and hand it over to the suitor. Another tradition is called ‘mátkázás’. Mátkázás is when the suitor sends a basket of scones and wine to the girl whom he likes. If the feeling is mutual, the girl sends back a similar basket.
Source: Daily News Hungary; Wikipedia