Augusztus 20. Nemzeti Ünnepünk – beszéljünk róla angolul

Augusztus 20. Magyarország nemzeti ünnepe és hivatalos állami ünnepe az államalapítás és az államalapító I. István király emlékére. A nap egyben a magyar katolikus egyház egyik – Magyarország fővédőszentjének tiszteletére tartott – főünnepe.

St. Stephen’s Day is celebrated on August 20 and is an official national holiday in Hungary. Its celebrations are pivotal since this is the day when the foundations of the state of Hungary were laid.

St. Stephen’s Day holds a long and interesting history. It begins with Stephen the Grand Prince of the Hungarians who laid the foundations of the state. Until the end of the 10th century, the Hungarians were in conflict with other European countries. In 955 A.D., Hungarian tribes suffered a major military loss and the tribal heads decided to give up their raids and concentrate on building a strong state. Stephen was of the view that the conversion of Magyar to Christianity can serve as a great way of settling down and strengthening the state.

Stephen received a crown from Pope Sylvester II and the honor of becoming the first King of Hungary in 1000 A.D. His crown is considered a holy treasure and is still found in Hungary’s precious treasures. Stephen died on August 15, 1038 A.D. On August 20, 1083 A.D., he was made a Catholic saint. Ladislaus I declared August 20 a holy day and it was first celebrated in 1092 A.D. It was celebrated as St. Stephen’s Feast Day until 1771 when Queen Maria Theresia expanded it from a church feast to an official national holiday. It further went through amendments and in 1950 the holiday’s name was changed to Constitution Day. The Hungarian parliament reinstated it as the commemoration of St. Stephen’s Feast Day to celebrate the foundation of the Hungarian state. In the canonization process, it was found that King Stephen’s right hand had not decayed at all, hence it was removed and can now be seen in St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest.

How to celebrate St. Stephen’s Day?

Attend a ceremony

You can also attend some official ceremonies arranged specifically on this day. A Hungarian flag is raised at Kossuth Square in front of parliament. It is followed by a food festival where the Cake of Hungary is presented. Then a mass in St. Stephen’s Basilica and a march in the honor of Holy Right-Hand takes place. St. Stephen’s day can be celebrated by attending any of these events.

Enjoy the cake and the new bread

Making a birthday cake for a country is not a piece of cake. You can also enjoy the Birthday Cake of Hungary by simply looking for a bakery offering the recipe so you don’t miss out on your chance of having a slice. This cake is selected from the annual contest (arranged by the National Association of Hungarian Confectioners) that famous bakers participate in and the one with the most innovative ideas wins. Both sugar- and sugar-free cakes are prepared. This day is also called ‘the festival of the new bread’ so you can also have a bite from freshly baked bread as well.

Watch fireworks

Watch the massive display of fireworks that takes place at the bank of the river Danube each year on this day. These fireworks are the highlight of this day and are launched at multiple intervals. They serve as the closure of this day and they can be best seen from the rooftops and the riverfront. The launching of fireworks on this day has taken place since 1966.

source: National Today


pivotal alapvető fontosságú
to lay the foundations of the state letenni az állam alapjait
tribes törzsek
to suffer military loss katonai veszteséget szenvedni
raids portyázások
conversion áttérés (másik hitre)
to settle down letelepedni
to strengthen megerősíteni
holy treasure szent kincs
Feast Day ünnepnap
to expand kiterjeszteni
amendments módosítások
Constitution Day az alkotmány napja
to reinstate visszaállítani
commemoration megemlékezés
canonization process szentté avatás
to decay lebomlani, elpusztulni
hence ezért
to attend részt venni
to arrange szervezni
to raise a flag zászlót felhúzni
mass mise
march (kör)menet
not a piece of cake nem gyerekjáték (nem könnyű feladat)
to miss out kihagyni, lemaradni
National Association of Hungarian Confectioners Magyar Cukrászok Országos Ipartestülete
fireworks tűzijáték
highlight of this day ennek a napnak a csúcspontja
to launch elindítani
at intervals időközönként
closure of the day lezárása a napnak
rooftops háztetők

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