Kate Seredy wrote children’s book published in 1935 set in Hungary. On Easter Monday “Wet Monday,” the young boys of the village went from house to house, wherever there were young girls and when the girls came to the door the boys recited a blessing and splashed the girl with water. The girls invited the boys in and everyone feasted on Easter food. The girls gave the boys some painted eggs to take home. On Easter Tuesday they replayed the whole game in reverse.
Now it’s a fun day throughout much of eastern Europe, with everyone splashing everyone else with water. The origins of the practice are foggy. But it can be connected with remembering baptism.
The Old Testament reading for Easter Monday is from Exodus 15, which is a song of rejoicing after God delivered the Israelites by cutting a path through the Red Sea waters and throwing the Egyptian horses and riders into the sea.
Having grown up in Northern Wisconsin where the ice, at times, was not off the lakes yet at Easter and there could be snow, “Wet Monday” probably would not be a welcome and fun experience. Though it did remind me of the spring music festivals held in Rice Lake. Choirs and soloists from area schools gathered for competition. Along main street Woolworths and Ben Franklin stores stocked up on squirt guns. Downtown was full of teenagers having fun. It was more of a “Wet May Day.” Connecting it with baptism never entered our minds. In the days following the festival teachers, were busy confiscating squirt guns. Today, we would have been expelled. But that was in the 1950’s when no one thought of bringing their deer rifle to school.