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Young women 'watered like plants' in ancient Easter tradition

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A young woman has a bucket of water chucked over her
A young woman has a bucket of water chucked over her -
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AP
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Girls and young women have been drenched with buckets of water as part of an ancient Easter tradition at a museum in Hungary.

The so-called "watering" of the women on Easter Monday is an old fertility rite that dates back to pre-Christian times.

Visitors watched volunteers get soaked at an open-air folk culture museum in Szentendre, just north of the Hungarian capital Budapest on Monday.

Young men used to pour water on unmarried women in order to keep them healthy and fertile, and to ensure that they did not "wilt", so the tradition goes.

"In order to grow a beautiful rose, you need to water them," saidJozsef Palenik, art director at the Lajta Folk Dance Assembly.

"We treat ladies as roses, so they can fully blossom. This is where this springtime watering tradition comes from in Hungary."

The young men with the buckets later put on a show of their own with some traditional dances.