Published: May 14 2023
- The Traditional Graduation Attire
- Emblematic Ribbons
- Ballagás: The Nostalgic Farewell Ceremony
- The Ballagás Procession
- The Witty Placards
- Receiving Diplomas and Honors
- Celebrating with Friends and Family
The Traditional Graduation Attire
Unlike the conventional graduation attire most people are accustomed to, Hungarian students do not wear a cap and gown during their graduation ceremony. Instead, they don a white, double-breasted high collar jacket, known as the 'frigyláda' with a similarly white skirt or trousers. This attire, which dates back to the 19th century, carries a sense of formality, prestige, and identity for the graduating students.
Another distinctive element in Hungarian graduation attire is the ribbon. These colorful and detailed ribbons, usually worn across the chest or attached to their frigyláda, bear the name or emblem of their school or university. The ribbons are not just for show – they hold deep sentimental value, as they are often given to loved ones, family members, or friends as a precious memento of their academic achievements and shared memories.
Ballagás: The Nostalgic Farewell Ceremony
One of the most anticipated and emotional parts of Hungarian graduation tradition is the ballagás, which refers to "walking away" or "leaving." This heartfelt ceremony serves as a farewell to the students' alma mater, teachers, classmates, and the years spent in the institution.
The Ballagás Procession
The ballagás ceremony typically begins with a procession led by a chosen graduating student carrying a large, elaborately decorated flag representing their school or class. Accompanied by music or the students singing traditional songs, the procession walks around the school premises or through the local community. As they march, students often pause to listen to farewell speeches or performances by their teachers, parents or school administrators.
The Witty Placards
Hungarian students are known for their sense of humor and creativity, which is on full display during the ballagás procession. Students frequently carry elaborate placards with humorous, satirical or witty messages, often making light of their academic struggles or inside jokes about their school experiences. These placards add a lighthearted atmosphere to the poignant and emotional ceremony, further strengthening the bonds between students and their communities.
Receiving Diplomas and Honors
After the ballagás, family members, friends, and faculty gather for the official graduation ceremony. Here, students receive their diplomas and any academic honors they have earned in the presence of their loved ones. This marks the formal end to their academic journey and the beginning of the next phase of their lives.
Celebrating with Friends and Family
Graduation in Hungary is not complete without a celebration. After the formal ceremonies, students typically attend parties or intimate gatherings with their friends and family, where they celebrate their accomplishments, reminisce on shared memories, and look forward to their bright futures.
In conclusion, the Hungarian graduation tradition, with its unique attire, symbolic rituals, and heartfelt celebrations, creates a deeply enriching and unforgettable experience for graduating students. By cherishing the past and looking forward to the future, these cherished practices instill pride, camaraderie, and a strong sense of community among Hungarian graduates, making their academic journey truly rewarding and memorable.