Published: October 02 2023
Hungary, a beautiful country in the heart of Europe, is world-renowned for its rich history, unique culture and charming traditions. Its capital city, Budapest, is packed to the brim with festivities minus the chaos of overcrowded touristy events. If you're looking to participate in the celebration of traditional Hungarian holidays in Budapest, you've come to the right place.
St. Stephen's Day – 20th August
Beginning with St. Stephen's Day, it celebrates Hungary’s foundation and its first king, Stephen I. The whole country comes to life, but Budapest is the epicenter. The day starts with a procession showing the Holy Dexter (Stephen’s mummified right hand). Then, the cityscape is dominated by various cultural events, music performances, and traditional Hungarian folk dance shows. A spectacular firework display along the Danube River rounds out the day.
National Day – 15th March
National Day, commemorating the 1848 revolution, sees Budapest dressed in the national colors of red, white, and green. The streets buzz with patriotic songs, speeches, and plenty of traditional Hungarian food. Historical landmarks like the Hungarian National Museum and Buda Castle are great places to participate in the festivities.
Easter – March/April
Easter in Budapest is not just about egg hunts and Easter bunnies. It's a throwback to old-world charms with various intriguing customs. On Easter Monday, a tradition named "Sprinkling" is practiced, where men sprinkle perfume or water on women as a sign of fertility and life. You can be part of the Easter Market at Városháza Park and taste festive Hungarian foods like the Easter bread "Kalács".
Christmas and New Year's Eve – December
Christmas in Budapest is nothing short of magical. Starting from late November, Christmas markets pop up throughout the city, with Vörösmarty Square being the largest one. Hand-crafted gifts, mulled wine, chimney cakes, and traditional dishes like 'halászlé' (fisherman's soup) bring out the essence of Hungarian Christmas.
The spirit of celebration continues through New Year’s Eve, with street parties, concerts, and spectacular firework displays. Szilveszter, as locally known, offers a wide variety of public celebrations throughout the capital city.
Pentecost – 50 days after Easter
Pentecost, celebrated 50 days after Easter, is marked with family gatherings and feasting. The Holiday of the Holy Spirit in Christianity becomes a cultural homage in Budapest. It's also the ideal time to taste some of Hungary's summertime wines and traditional dishes in outdoor feasts.
So there you have it - an insight into the jubilation and cultural richness that traditional Hungarian holidays bring to Budapest. The city offers a unique blend of deeply rooted traditions and a cosmopolitan vibe, making these celebrations an extraordinary experience for locals and visitors alike.