If you don't know a lot about Hungary, it's good to start with their holidays. More often than not, a country's public holidays says a lot about its culture, heritage, and traditions. The fact that most, if not all of the country goes to a halt during these special days speaks volumes. It conveys just how important these occasions are, what they're all about, and what they mean to the people in the said country. Here in Hungary, though they celebrate most of the popular ones, they also have a handful that only they know about. And you should know a little about them too!
National Day (March 15)
Just like any other country out there, Hungary has its own National Day. A day that commemorates the time when it became an independent nation. And for Hungary, that's on March 15th. It was on this day, in the year 1848, that Hungary finally separated from Austrian rule and became its own country. This day commemorates the revolution that helped make that happen, and all the efforts, the hard work, and ultimately, the sacrifices made to achieve it. In modern-day Hungary, people across the neighborhoods of Budapest
, the districts of Eger and many more hold special parades, proudly donning the colors of the Hungarian flag.
Easter Monday (Every March or April)
Just like in France
, and many others, Hungary also celebrates Easter Monday. And unsurprisingly, celebrations during this day still include eggs. There's a tradition in Hungary wherein men sprinkly women with water or perfume. In return, the women give the men baskets of eggs (mostly real eggs, at times, they're chocolate). For the kids, they continue their Easter egg hunts, finding the colorful eggs that have candies, fruit, toys, and other goodies inside of them. Of course, these are all done after the people have heard a mass or attended the prayer services in church!
Labor Day (May 1)
Another holiday that's similar to that of neighboring nations is Labor Day. Europe and the rest of the world celebrate this holiday every May 1st. It might only be the US that has it in September. Anyways, whichever date it's on, the significance of the holiday remains the same. This is a special day wherein people who work in Hungary get to take the day off. Relax, have fun, and not worry about their jobs for just one day of the year. After all, though Hungary's job market
isn't the biggest, it's stable enough that the country gets to be as stable as it is today.
State Foundation Day (August 20)
Did you know that Hungary's first king is now a saint? St. Stephen, the country's first monarch and one of its most historic rulers and defenders, has his feast day on August 15th. And this isn't any ordinary saint feast day in Hungary. The country actually regards it as State Foundation Day. Almost similar to its own Independence National Day, this holiday is a big celebration in the country. Consisting of a speech from the Hungarian president and a spectacular fireworks show by the Danube River, it's one that many Hungarians look forward to all year.
Memorial Day of The 1956 Revolution (October 23)
Remember that Hungary actually has two 'National Days,' right? Well, the second one is on October 13. Also referred to as a 'National Day,' it commemorates the 1956 Revolution that expelled Soviet troops off of Hungarian soil. At the time, it also re-established free elections as a means of choosing the country's next leaders. Three decades later, the country also proclaimed the Third Hungarian Republic on this day. So there are many levels of tributes for this particular 'National Holiday.' And every year, the president gives speeches, people parade on the streets, and everyone simply has a good time!
Second Day of Christmas (December 26)
While the UK
has 'Boxing Day,' Hungary has what they call the 'Second day of Christmas.' It's another holiday that extends the day off people have during Christmas, mostly so that families can spend more time with each other. Though unlike its British counterpart, this holiday isn't necessarily defined by sales in the shops and the like. It's simply another free day for people to spend more quality time with each other. After hearing mass and saying their prayers, most are off to attend or hold parties, play games outside, eat at fancy restaurants
, and more!
The more you know about Hungarian holidays, the more you get to know about Hungary as a country. It's often the public holidays that they celebrate that give a clearer view of who the Hungarians really are, their heritage, their culture, their history, and more!
Whichever Hungarian holiday resonates with you the most, let's hope you're celebrating it here in a luxury home
! That's the best way to do it!