national holidays

20th August
King Saint Stephen’s Day; the Day of the Foundation of the State. (between 1949 and 1989; Constitution Day) Celebrated by officer initiation ceremonies, politicians’ speeches, festival of folk arts and fire works at evening.

15th March
The day of the Revolution of 1848, against the Austrian Empire. Also known as the Ides of March. On this day the young poet, Sándor Petőfi declaimed the National Song on the doorstep of the National Museum written by him and causing the Revolution. The aim of this Revolution was to reach the independence of Hungary from the Austrian Empire. Celebrated by wearing red-white-green cocarde, politicians’ speeches and music performances.

23rd October
The day of the Revolution of 1956, against the Soviet Union. The Revolution – which was started by the Budapest Technical University students – aimed the independence of Hungary, the departure of the Soviet Army and the introduction of multi-party system and free elections. This is also the Day of the Proclamation of the Third Hungarian Republic (1989). Celebrated by politicians’ speeches, performances and holed flags.

religious holidays

Christmas (25-26 December)
The day of Jesus’ birth. The closer family celebrations begin on 24th December in the evening. (public transportation works until 4 pm) Christmass trees are raised on 24th December in the afternoon and the presents are given at the evening. On 25th and 26th December people visit their greater family.

Easter (changes between 22 March and 25 April)
A Sunday and a Monday in March or April. The day of Jesus’ resurrection. On Sunday the Easter Bunny brings presents to the Children. People eat ham and egg. On Monday – according to a Polish-Czech-Slovakian-Hungarian tradition – boys throw water on girls in order not to let them to wither. There are different customs related to this; in Hungary girls give red eggs to the boys. In some regions girls also throw water on boys on Tuesday. Today we use droplets of Eau de Cologne / Kölnisch Wasser (which is a kind of parfume) to throw on girls.

Penthecost (50 days after Easter)
A Sunday and a Monday in May or June.

All Saints’ Day (1st November)
Only Catholic people celebrate All Saints’ Day (on 1st November) and All Souls’ Day (on 2nd November). Out of these two days only 1st November is public holiday. Protestant people do not celebrate any of these holidays.

international holidays

New Year (1st January)
People eat lentil soup and strudel with cottage chease and poppy. Many people watches the Vienna New Year’s Concert.

Workers’ Day (1st May)
Outdoor festivities.

memory days (that are working days)

1st February – The Day of the Republic
Hungary changed to be a republic (from being kingdom) on this day in 1946.

25th February – The Memory Day of the Victims of the Communist Dictatorships
Béla Kovács, the leader of the Smallholder Party was arrested and deported to the Soviet Union on this day in 1947.

16th April – The Memory Day of the Victims of the Holocaust
Hungarian Jews were forced to ghettos in Transcarpathia in 1944 on this day.

4th June – The Day of the National Belonging
The Treaty of Trianon was signed on this day in 1920 which reduced the territory of Hungary to its 28%, and it also caused that 31% of ethnic Hungarians got outside of the newly defined borders of Hungary.

19th June – The Day of the Independent Hungary
The Soviet Army left Hungary on this day in 1991.

6th October – The Memory Day of the Martyrs of Arad
The 13 Martyrs were executed by the Austrians in Arad. Prime minister Lajos Batthyány was also executed in the same day but in the city of Pest.


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