Welcome to Ukrainian Easter Eggs by Olga Easter Monday

Easter Monday is the Monday following Easter. In Ukraine it is called Dousing or Watering Monday (Oblyvanyi Ponedilok).

 There is an old custom in Ukraine to douse each other with cold water on Easter Monday. Those who wake up early in the morning  are first to douse everybody else at home with cold water while those are still in bed.  Usually parents are first who wake up and sprinkle their children. And for children who wake up earlier than their parents it is such a fun to pour cold water on sleeping parents, knowing  they are not going to be punished for that.   

There is also a very old tradition according to which boys pour cold water over girls  in the early Easter Monday morning. And girls in turn can surprise the boys with some major watering on Easter Tuesday.  

Water has always been the symbol of life and used as a major cleansing/purification and blessing remedy. Water was considered to have magic powers, which  protect from evil, strengthen mother-earth and make it fertile, and for a human it was giving health and strength, happiness, well-being etc.  This old custom  in Ukraine to douse anybody or self  with cold water comes from pre-Christian times. The ritual of watering was practiced at the beginning of Spring (at the Equinox). It was sudden, hidden, and unexpected, and  symbolizes a Spring cleansing and purification with water.

Being watered on Easter Monday  is for rejuvenation, freshness, wholeness, happiness, strong health, beauty and good  luck throughout the year. It can range from having a few drops of warm tap water dribbled on you to a bucket of ice-cold  water poured over you.

Nowadays water fights are enjoyed on the streets and total strangers of any age can become victims of drenching.  Young people attack with water toys, or ruthlessly  empty full buckets of water onto randomly selected passers. People who wish to avoid a soaking are strongly advised not to go outdoors at least until midday.

 The same custom exists in many other European cultures. 

Back to Easter        Back to top