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    August 20th: Celebrating Hungary’s National Holiday in Budapest!

    August 20th: Celebrating Hungary’s National Holiday in Budapest!

     

    As anyone who has ever visited Budapest during the summer knows, there is quite a bit going on in the Hungarian capital during the summer months. But while big name international events such as Sziget Festival are generally the ones that tourists and visitors are most familiar with, there are also some far older holidays and festivities that are well worth seeing.

    One of these is August 20th, St. Stephen’s Day, a national holiday celebrating the foundation of the Kingdom of Hungary in the year 1000. If you happen to be in Budapest at the end of August, then, you’ll be in for a special treat as the Hungarian capital celebrates its first king with parades, fireworks, and numerous other festivities.

     

    August 20th: A Quick Introduction

    The Hungarian national holiday of St. Stephen’s Day, as known as the Celebration of the State’s Founding, commemorates the role that King Stephen I played in unifying and strengthening Hungary. After officially converting to Christianity and receiving a crown blessed by the pope, Stephen became his country’s first king, and set out to strengthen and unify Hungary. He issued laws, reorganized the nobility, fought against his pagan relatives, and built churches throughout the country.

    While Hungarians had been in the Carpathian Basin for over one-hundred years before Stephen’s birth, then, it was his efforts that made the country a part of Europe, and for this reason his feast day is celebrated as a national holiday in Hungary.

     

    Celebrations Throughout the City Center

    While St. Stephen’s Day may be about a commemoration of history and culture, it is also a long weekend, a chance for Hungarians and visitors alike to enjoy special programs throughout the city center on August 20th.

    Venues hosting events this year include St. Stephen’s Basilica, which will host a special commemorative mass and a traditional procession; the Banks of the Danube, where visitors can view an Air and Water Parade; the Buda Castle, which will be the site of a three-day Folk Art Festival; Kossuth Square and the Parliament; and so much more.

    And if you’re in Budapest on August 20th, you should find a nice accommodation close to the center of Budapest during Hungary’s biggest national holiday. Fraser Residence Budapest is an excellent choice, due to the fact that it is near to all major locations of Budapest’s downtown and it has all the amenities that you can wish for. Fraser has 50 high quality serviced apartments, in all sizes. Although its located in a quiet street it’s incredibly close to one of the major public transportation hub of Budapest: Corvin Quarter. From here you can reach every great landmark of the city swiftly.

    Browse the list of Fraser apartments on the official website!

     

    Fireworks, Cakes, Parades, and More

    As we’ve mentioned, August 20th this year will see parades, festivals, and more. In honor of St. Stephen’s Day, a “Street of Hungarian Flavors” will be held on the Buda side of the city, on the Banks of the Danube. There, visitors can enjoy all sorts of Hungarian delicacies ranging from Stuffed Cabbage to Chicken Paprikás to sausages. In addition, the “Street” will also provide a venue for the official introduction of the “Cake of Hungary,” an annual contest in which the country’s best pastry chefs compete for the right to this coveted title.

    If you were to ask any Hungarian what the first thing that comes into their mind about St. Stephen’s Day is, the answer would most likely be fireworks. At the end of the day on August 20th, after the sun has gone down, the skies above Budapest are illuminated by a colossal, incredibly beautiful fireworks display. Be sure to make your way down to the Danube if you want to see Budapest at what is arguable its most stunning and romantic, as its grand bridges, palaces, and public spaces are lit up by a dazzling display of light and sound.