Each year a special Easter festival takes place in a small village located in northeastern Hungary. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, for three days Hollókő becomes a tourist magnet, but visitors, beware! You may get wet.
It has nothing to do with the weather, because the tradition is for boys and men to chuck water over young women, for which the girls reward them with small gifts.
“The girls deserve it. Tradition says boys wander around with buckets with cold water,” said one lad.
“We just want them to be beautiful so it’s in their interest. We mustn’t let them droop,” agreed his friend.
“When the weather’s so nice, it is a good experience for everyone, and it’s good for community building and fun.” said one of the young girls, who seemed to have escaped the pails.
The tradition even survives in urban centres, where water might be replaced with cologne, although the girls can end the day pretty smelly. It all looks like good clean fun, and certainly more innocent than a wet t-shirt competition.
“Once the boys have watered all the girls, there’s still plenty of water left for the visitors,” says euronews’ Andrea Hajagos, who miraculously managed to stay dry.