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Saint Stephen's Day: A Hungarian Celebration

St. Stephen Image by Thomas Heise at Pixabay

Last Summer we went to Budapest and we celebrated this special Hungarian occasion. We always enjoy it because the fireworks are very fascinating in the evening.

I used to learn history in school, but now I had to find some history of St. Stephen's day. St. Stephen (Szent István) was the first king of Hungary and he laid the foundation of the state by converting the Hungarian people to Christianity.

Stephen received the Sacred Crown from Pope Sylvester II becoming Hungary's first king on Christmas Day in 1000, ruling until his death on August 15th 1038. Stephen was made a saint on August 20th 1083. He became the patron saint of Hungary.

August 20th was first celebrated in 1092, when another saint, King Ladislaus I declared it a sacred day. The 20th of August also marks the Hungarian Festival of the New Bread: the blessing and slicing of a freshly baked loaf of bread is a widespread ceremony in the country.

Blessing the bread image by Kossuthzs

I remember the day started off with traditional state events, and the main attraction was the fireworks around 9pm. There are lots of different places, squares or avenues where people can listen to operetta, Hungarian folk music and enjoy Hungarian cuisine.

If you are going to Budapest don't skip this day - I recommend it to everyone!

Written by Edina

The highlight of the St. Stephen's Day celebrations is a massive fireworks display on the banks of the Danube in the evening.

Image author's own

Image author's own

Image author's own

Image author's own

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