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Spectacular celebrations on the 20th of August in Hungary

Updated on January 25, 2016

The celebration of the foundation of Hungary

The 20th of August is a very important day in the life of Hungary. It is a public holiday, Saint Stephen’s Day (Szent István király in Hungarian – he was also the first king of the country), the celebration of the day when the country was founded.

This day is also the celebration of the first ‘new bread’ of the year – the first bread that was baked from the actual year’s wheat harvest (wheat is usually harvested during August in Hungary).

The official celebrations start in the morning at the Parliament in Budapest, when the national flag is officially hoisted. After this, different kinds of events start all over the country – I will try to mention and show you the most important and interesting ones from these in this hub.

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Air parade (Légiparádé)

This is a very spectacular event above the Danube in Budapest, when different planes, parachutists, aerobics pilots and air racers provide a great show for us.

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Street parades, concerts, colorful events

Still talking about Budapest, there are hundreds of different interesting events available for tourists during the day.

My favourite is on the Buda side: on the 20th of August the Chain Bridge (Lánchíd) is closed down from cars and public transportation, only pedestrians and people with bicycles are allowed on the bridge. So it is a great idea to start the day with walking through the Chain Bridge above the Danube and go to the Buda side of the city, where there are usually nice street parades and vendors all along the bank of the river, down to the south.

It is also a good idea to visit the Royal Palace on the hilltop, where the Festival of Folk Arts is held (Mesterségek Ünnepe) with loads of concerts – and basically, the view from the hill is simply fascinating.

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Carnival of Flowers (Virágkarnevál)

This is a very famous event in Debrecen, which is the second biggest city in Hungary, behind Budapest. This carnival is usually the biggest event in this city during the whole year, many tourists visit Debrecen to see this carnival. Originally this event was only one day long, but nowadays celebrations are held for about a week.

The pageantry on the 20th of August starts at 8am; when the special vehicles - all covered with statues of flowers - begin their journey in the city. They always use the same route, so tourists can easily catch this amazing march wherever they like.

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Fair on the Bridge of Hortobágy (Hortobágyi Hídi Vásár)

The Hortobágyi Hídi Vásár is also a very nice event, which is visited by thousands of people each year.

On this fair, craftsmen exhibit and sell their products and visitors can also try out these old crafts. Vendors are all over the old, very spectacular bridge and special shows are held in the vicinity.

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As the climax of the whole day, beautiful, half an hour long fireworks start at 9pm all along the bank of the Danube in the heart of Budapest and in many other, smaller cities in the whole country. This event is usually attended by millions of people every year.

Thank you for reading!

I hope you enjoyed our virtual trip in this hub and now you have a basic idea about how important this holiday is for the Hungarian people – and how spectacular for everyone on the world. I wish you all to have the opportunity once to visit at least the capital on the 20th of August and feel the spirit of these fantastic events.

Additional links:

Programs in Hungary:

Street map:

More information about the Carnival of Flowers in Debrecen:

Info about the Festival of Folk Arts:

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© Copyright 2012-2014, Zsofia Koszegi-Nagy (zsobig)

© 2012 Sophie

Comments on the topic

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    • zsobig profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you very much :).

      Yes, I know about Divali, when my husband got home from India he was pretty much informed on most of the things about your country (he was there for almost 2 months), so he told a lot about the culture - at least the part he got to know :).

      I love(d) it!

      Thanks for your comment and vote, means a lot to me!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      zsobig, some wonderful and colorful celebrations on independence day of Hungary. I loved the pictures and video of the flower carnival and the fair on the bridge of Hortobagy.

      We also have a display of lights & fireworks but on a special festival day called ' Diwali', also called, the festival of lights. I have written a hub on it.

      Thanks for sharing some wonderful historical moments and photos.

      Voted up and awesome.


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