Published: December 10 2023
The Christmas season in Budapest is filled with festive customs and traditions that create a magical atmosphere. In this article, we will explore some unique Christmas traditions in Hungary that add to the holiday spirit.
Christmas Midnight Mass
Christmas Midnight Mass is a significant event held on the 24th of December. It marks the end of the Advent season and the beginning of Christmas celebrations. The Mass is popular among both regular church-goers and those who are not as it is known for its festive atmosphere and beautifully decorated churches. The tradition of Midnight Mass dates back to the 6th century.
Nativity scenes play an important role in Hungarian Christmas traditions. These displays depict the birth of Jesus and can be found in towns and households across Hungary during the festive season. Families often come together to create their own mini nativity scenes with handmade figurines, adding a personal touch to their Christmas decorations.
Regölés: Singing Christmas Carols
Hungarian Christmas carols have their own unique tradition called Regölés. This custom involves young men going door-to-door, singing carols and bringing joy to people's homes. In return, they receive small gifts. Regölés begins on the 26th of December and continues until Epiphany on the 6th of January. Historically, this tradition also provided an opportunity for young men to court girls in the households they visited.
Consecration of the Wine
On St John's Day, the 27th of December, Hungarian families participate in the consecration of wine at their local church. This age-old tradition involves bringing wine, whether homemade or store-bought, to be blessed by a priest. Consecrated wine is believed to have mystical powers and was traditionally used to cure sickness and prevent spoiling of other wines.
Mistletoe, a traditional Christmas symbol in many countries, is also making its way into Hungarian culture. This tradition of kissing under the mistletoe is becoming more popular in Hungary, influenced by films and foreign holidays. The belief is that if two people kiss under the mistletoe, they will fall in love.
Questions & Answers
What is Christmas Midnight Mass in Hungary? Christmas Midnight Mass is a religious event held at midnight on the 24th of December. It marks the end of the Advent season and the beginning of the celebration of Christmas. It is attended by people who may not regularly attend mass and is known for its festive spirit and decoration in the churches.
What are nativity scenes in Hungary? Nativity scenes are displays that represent the birth of Jesus and are exhibited in almost every town in Hungary during the festive season. In some Hungarian households, family members come together to make the figures and create a mini nativity scene to decorate the house.
What is Regölés in Hungary? Regölés is a Hungarian tradition where younger men walk around the town or village, knock on doors, and sing Christmas carols to people. In return, they receive smaller gifts. This tradition dates back to the 6th century and was also a way for young men to court girls in the households they visited. Regölés starts on the 26th of December and lasts until the 6th of January, Epiphany.
What is the consecration of the wine in Hungary? The consecration of the wine is an old Hungarian tradition that takes place on St John's Day, the 27th of December. On this day, each family brings wine to the church to be blessed by the priest. The consecrated wine is believed to have magical powers and was traditionally poured into wine barrels to prevent the wine from spoiling. It was also believed to have the ability to cure sick people and animals.
What is the significance of mistletoe in Hungary? Mistletoe is a traditional Christmas symbol in Hungary, influenced by other countries. It is believed that if two people kiss under the mistletoe, they will fall in love. This tradition has been introduced to Hungary through films and foreign holidays, such as Black Friday.