Celebrations and National Holidays in Hungary

Why are holidays important?

  • we can take a break from day-to-day life,
  • we can spend some time with our family and friends,
  • traditions on special occasions are important.

What holidays are celebrated in most of the countries all over the world?

At Christmaswe celebrate the birth of Christ.

Before Christmas:

  • we buy presents / gifts for our relatives and friends
  • we wrap the gifts nicely
  • we decorate the Christmas tree
  • we decorate the house with fairy lights
  • we make gingerbread cookies
  • we send greeting cards to family members and friends

On Christmas Eve:

  • in most of the churches there is a nativity play
  • we put the presents under the Christmas tree
  • we sing and listen to traditional Christmas songs by the tree and open the presents
  • we have a big family dinnerwith fish and turkey and a special cake filled with poppy seeds and nuts
  • at midnight we go to the midnight mass

On Christmas Daywe usually visit some relatives and relax.

In Britain Christmas is a bit different. It is not celebrated on its eve but on 25th December. On Christmas Eve kids are very excited, they hang their stockings on the mantelpiece over the fireplace in hopes that Father Christmas will fill them up with presents. On the morning of 25th they rush to their stockings and then to the Christmas tree to see what presents Santa Claus brought them. The traditional meal is a bit different too. They usually have a big turkey which is followed by Christmas pudding. Then they will probably pull Christmas crackers. They are small tube-shaped decorations for Christmas tables in Britain. They are usually pulled on Christmas day during the meal or at tea time. They usually contain a very small gift: a paper hat, some sorts of sweet and a joke which makes everyone laugh.

Easter is a Christian celebration, too.

At Easter :

  • children get a lot of chocolate eggs and chocolate bunnies.
  • boys sprinkle water or perfume on girls
  • girls paint eggs and give them to the boys
  • we eat Easter ham with eggs

New Year’s Eveis the last day of the year.

  • there are parties all over the world to say goodbye to the old year.
  • at midnight the party stops for a minute and in Hungary everybody listens to the national anthem. Then we drink champagne.
  • On New Year’s Day nobody goes to work, it’s bank holiday.

What are the national holidays of your country (that are connected with the history of your country)? Why are they important?

On our national holidays we commemorate important historical events:

On the 15th of March we commemorate the Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence of 1848-49.

The20th of August is the day of King Stephen I. (Stephen the first) Then we commemorate the founding of our state, which happened more than a thousand years ago. There is a great firework display in Budapest.

On the 23rd of Octoberwecommemorate the revolution in 1956 and we celebrate the declaration of the Hungarian Republic in 1989.

What other special occasions do families celebrate?

Most families also celebrate birthdays, so called namedays, weddinganniversaries and Mother’sDay.

On Mother’s Day I buy flowers for my mum and I give her a little present.

On birthdays the family comes together to celebrate. The family member who has his or her birthday usually gets a birthday cake with as many candles as old he or she is. When he / she blows the candles he or she must make a wish. People often have birthday parties so they can celebrate with their friends, too. If you throw a party, you:

  • invite friends and relatives
  • decorate the flat/house with balloons and lanterns
  • make or order a birthday cake with candles
  • buy and prepare food, you can also order meals
  • can make a reservation in a restaurant or a pub
  • chill drinks
  • lay the table
  • find suitable music