On August 20th, Hungary Celebrates National Day, Founding of State

Nation-wide celebrations will be held in Hungary throughout the long weekend to in honor of the founder of the Hungarian State, King Saint Stephen. St. Stephen, Hungary’s first king (1000 -1038) established a formal state structure and organized the Christian church in Hungary.

A rich variety of programs will await locals and tourists alike in Hungary. For more information about the celebrations, visit the official website of the event series here. Traditionally, a highlight of the celebrations is the fireworks, launched from the banks of the Danube, commemorating the canonization of Hungary’s first king and celebrate the founding of the Hungarian state.

More than one thousand years ago, Stephen was crowned King of Hungary. King Stephen’s legacy is still very much alive in Hungary. His vision for the Hungarians to become part of the Western Christian and cultural tradition is widely regarded as the single most important strategic decision of his time. Stephen’s moral message to his son Emeric to “keep always in mind that all men are born equal; that nothing elevates you but humility” is as valid today as it was a thousand years ago.

Countless programs await both locals and tourists all the day round. Besides commemorations organized by political parties there will be numerous other exciting things to do, especially for families with children.This year the festivities start on 19th August and continue on 20th August with the spectacular fireworks closing the holiday.

Enjoy the Fireworks starting at 21.00 from the best possible spot: from the upper deck of a ship anchored on the Danube. Prior to the fireworks a Cruiseon the Danube with Dinner and Live Music provides for a pleasant romantic evening.








Street of Hungarian FlavoursOpening Hours: The Street is open from 12.00 till 24.00 on 19th August and from 10.00 till 22.00 on 20th August.

Programs start already on 19th August: visit the Street of Hungarian Flavours (Magyar Ízek Utcája) on theDanube banks to have a taste oftraditional Hungarian food and drinks.

Hungary’s Birthday Cake in 2012. will also be introduced there on 19th August and everyone can taste it.

Street of Hungarian Flavours (Magyar Ízek Utcája), Budapest August 20th

Hungary’s Birthday Cake 2012 Every year a special birthday cake is prepared to celebrate our country’s foundation.

Hungary's Birthday Cake - Apple Popy seed cake 2012

Hungary’s Birthday Cake in 2012 – Poppy-seed cake with Szabolcs apple

The National Guild of Hungarian Confectioners selects the best recipe submitted by confectioners from all over Hungary.

This year the Szabolcs apple poppy seed cake by the Kokó Confectionery in Veszprém won.

The cake can first be tasted on 19th August in the Street of Hungarian Flavours at Clark Adam Square.

The nominees were:

  • Apple-poppy seed cake from Szabolcs county by Kokó Confectionery from Veszprém,

  • Pumpkin-apple cake from the Őrség region (a beautiful wooded are in Western Hungary), by Villa Rosatofrom Bükfürdő,

  • Raspberry cake with honey and basil by Gombai Confectionery from Veresegyháza,

  • Golden pear cake by Stop Confectionery from Tatabánya, and

  • National tricolor cake by Major Confectionery from Budapest.
Hungary's Birthday cake - 20th August celebrations Budapest

A novelty that this year there’ll also be a sugar free birthday cake and the ice cream of the year (in 2012 it is a specialty named triász: almond ice cream with chocolate sour cherry dressing) can also be sampled in the Street of Hungarian Flavours.

Concerts and Street Carnival on 19th August

Popular Hungarian bands will give concerts on the evening of 19th August at Bem tér and Clark Adam tér starting at 20.00.  Programs on 20th August:

August 20th Festivities Budapest

As usual, a series of state ceremonies launch the holiday programs in the morning on 20th August to commemorate the Foundation of the Hungarian State.

The main venues of the state programs are Kossuth Square in front of the Hungarian Parliament andHeroes’ Square.

Besides the state celebrations there’ll be a wide range of other programs both in the morning and in the afternoon ensuring wonderful time for the whole family.

The celebration starts with the raising of the Hungarian flag on Kossuth Square at 8.30-8.50.

A fantastic air and water show will take place over and on the Danube between Elizabeth Bridge andMargaret Bridge from 10.00 till 11.00.

Raising of the Hungarian Flag - August 20th celebrations Budapest


Air and Water Show Over and on the Danube on 20th August, Budapest


Family Programs on the Danube Bank Concerts, dance performances and puppet show provide entertainment for the whole family on Bem tér and Clark Adam tér between 11.00 and 18.00.

Festival of Folk Arts

The Festival of Folk Arts in Buda Castle will be still going during the August 20. holiday. This year the festival will be focusing on traditional wears and how to make them.

Festival of Folk Arts (Mesterségek Ünnepe) Budapest, Buda Castle

Open Day in the Hungarian Parliament

The Parliament building can be visited without preliminary registration from 13.00 till 20.00.

Open Day in the Hungarian Parliament - 20. August, Budapest


Blessing of the Bread and Harvest Procession

The blessing of the new bread and a harvest procession starts at 15.00 on Clark Ádám tér heading for Szent István tér in front of the Basilica where the holy mass will start at 17.00.

Harvest Procession and Blessing of the Bread - 20th August Festivities Budapest

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