Published: December 02 2023
The Advent season in Hungary is a time of quiet anticipation and intimate celebration. It is marked by various traditions and superstitions that bring joy and meaning to the Christmas season. In this article, we will explore the key Advent traditions in Hungary and their significance.
When is Advent?
Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and continues until Christmas Day. It was established by Pope Gregory VII in the 4th century, with four Sundays designated for the Advent season. The first Sunday of Advent falls between 27 November and 3 December, while the fourth Sunday falls between 18 December and 24 December. This period also signifies the start of the Christian Church year, the beginning of the Christmas cycle, and the Advent season.
Traditions and Superstitions
Hungary has a rich collection of Advent traditions and superstitions. For instance, it is believed that if a young girl tears three pieces from a bell rope and ties them in her hair, she will find a suitor soon. Another tradition is the canonical hours, where people attend morning mass from the first Sunday of Advent until Christmas Day. This practice, also known as the Angelic Mass, stems from the belief that witches were present outside before the dawn mass and the need to lock barns until the first bell rang. Additionally, some individuals buried money during Advent as a way of hoping for its purification.
The Advent Wreath
The Advent wreath is another significant tradition in Hungary. It originated in the 1800s when a pastor in Hamburg created the first one. The wreath is typically circular and made of pine branches, with four candles representing the Sundays of Advent. In Catholic homes, the candles are usually purple, except for the third Sunday, which is pink. Each Sunday, a new candle is lit to symbolize the increasing light of God, and on the last Sunday, all four candles are lit.
The Advent Calendar
The Advent calendar is a popular tradition that dates back to the early 20th century. It was invented by a German mother who wanted to keep her son entertained during the anticipation of Christmas. The mother created a calendar with 24 small pieces of chocolate attached to it, allowing her son to enjoy a treat each day leading up to Christmas. Each day of Advent holds its own special meaning and tradition, including the celebrations of St. Barbara, St. Nicholas, St. Lucy, and St. Thomas.
By fully embracing these Advent traditions, Hungary prepares for the joyous celebration of Christmas and cultivates a sense of anticipation and reverence during the holiday season.
Questions & Answers
What is Advent and when does it start in Hungary? Advent is the period leading up to Christmas, and in Hungary, it starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas (25 December) and lasts until Christmas.
What are some Advent traditions in Hungary? Hungary has several traditions associated with Advent. For example, some people believe that if a girl in a marriageable age tears three pieces from a bell rope and ties them in her hair, she will find a suitor in the near future. Another tradition is the canonical hours, where people go to mass every morning from the first Sunday of Advent until Christmas Day. The Advent wreath is also a common tradition, which is made of pine branches and four candles. Each Sunday of Advent, a new candle is lit to symbolize the ever-increasing light of God.
When was the first Advent wreath made? The first Advent wreath was made by a pastor in Hamburg in the 1800s.
What is the significance of the Advent calendar? The Advent calendar dates back to the early 20th century. It was created by a German mother for her son who was eager to open presents before Christmas Day. The calendar typically has 24 small compartments or doors, each containing a treat or surprise, to be opened one per day leading up to Christmas.
Are there any special days or saints associated with Advent in Hungary? Yes, there are several special days and saints associated with Advent in Hungary. Some of the most famous include St. Barbara (4 December), St. Nicholas (6 December), St. Lucy (13 December), and St. Thomas (21 December). These days often have their own traditions and celebrations.