Surprisingly, Hungary has not one, but two egg museums.
Rmx.news points out that there is one in the southern part of the country in the village of Zengővárkony close to the Croatian border and another in Siófok, on the shores of Lake Balaton.
On Easter Monday, rural Hungary still observes the ancient fertility ritual of “watering” maidens and young women of a marrying age in general. While this ritual has in urban areas been mellowed to a symbolic spraying with cologne, in many villages the hardcore treatment of a bucket full of cold water is still very much alive.
And the girls are even supposed to be happy about it: they offer the men a decorated egg in return. These Easter eggs go back to a Persian tradition, later assimilated by Christian culture. While egg decoration is nothing new – in fact, the oldest surviving examples of carved ostrich eggs from South Africa are 60,000 years old – the practice has evolved into an art form in Hungary.
Eggs are painted, etched, carved, embroidered and even horseshoes are nailed onto them. A Hungarian named József Koszpek holds the world record of applying 1,119 miniature horseshoes onto a chicken egg.
These horseshoes – for easier application – are not made of iron, but much more malleable lead, but the technique still requires exceptional dexterity. So if you happen to be in Hungary and in the vicinity of these egg museums, don’t pass on the chance to go in. We recommend the Zengővárkony museum, with its collection of no less than 3,000 works of art.