In Hungary, the Feast of the Holy Innocents falls on the same day with the traditional "birching", a fertility custom known almost everywhere in Europe
On the Christian calendar, the Feast of the Holy Innocents (Childermas) commemorates the infanticide in Jerusalem in the time of Herod the Great.
A well-known Hungarian tradition for this day was “vesszőzés
” (“birching”), a fertility custom
known almost everywhere in Europe. Young shepherds and boys walked around the villages with bundles of young shoots, from which farmers or their wives would take one, and use it for driving the cattle out to pasture in the spring.
According to the same custom, girls were lightly whipped with a young shoot, to wish them good health and fertility in the new year.