The Monday following Whitsun or Pentecost (Pünkösd) is a public holiday in Hungary (and in many European countries). Pentecost is a Christian feast, celebrated seven weeks after Easter, commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit.
According to tradition, during Pentecost, young men invited girls strolling on the shore of the lake for a boat ride with boats decorated with green branches. This custom was unique in the Carpathian Basin in the 1920’s, but later went out of fashion. Some of theother, more prominent Hungarian Pentecost traditions include the naming of a “Pentecost King,” who achieves this title by prevailing in a series of games. The king gets to attend virtually all weddings and parties throughout the coming year and to drink free of charge at the local pubs. At Pentecost flowers and green branches are put around the edges of windows and in fences, often the Jasmine or the Pentecost rose, in order to prevent getting struck by a bolt of lightening. Young men sometimes put a Pentecost rose in the window of a young lady, and young girls may give a wreath they have made to a young man. Some suitors also give a lady a basket full of scones, along with some wine, and hope to receive a basket in return. There may also be balls held on Pentecost to facilitate the courting.