After two years of Covid-beating restrictions, Hungarians around the world can once again celebrate the feast of the founding of the state together, not only in spirit. The organizers expect hundreds of thousands of people to attend the events in Budapest and in the countryside. The successes achieved so far in the fight against the epidemic will make it possible for Hungarians to celebrate freely, together and without masks.
The national holiday is also the commemoration of the fact that the Hungarian nation has lived in this country in the Carpathians for more than a thousand years, in a Christian, European state framework. It is intended to evoke the spirit of Saint Stephen, who, as apostolic monarch, gave spiritual, intellectual and political foundations to Hungarians and non-Hungarians who have lived here for ten centuries and still live.
For Hungarians all over the world, August 20 is also the feast of holy food, the new bread. It is the day when the bread of Hungarians is prepared from cereals and ground flour from all parts of the Carpathian Basin to proclaim the unity of the national parts of the country torn apart by Trianon. There is not a single community in the Hungarian world, large or small, in which this festival is not celebrated.
Also this year there will be numerous programs in the capital on the long weekend of August 20. In addition to traditional festival programs, St. Stephen’s Day events include classical and popular music concerts, festivals, historical presentations, spectacular parades, exhibitions, art programs, and gastronomic experiences.
The series of events began on 19 August at 16:00 with the street music festival on Freiheitsplatz and the Szabadrét festival on Elisabethplatz. In Buda Castle, on the Tóth Árpád promenade, the Heroes’ Way will commemorate seven important figures in Hungarian history with spectacular role-playing games. At the same time, military programs and concerts of the military orchestra take place on Kapistrán Square.
On the Feast of St. Stephen, Cardinal Primate Péter Erdő will lead the solemn Mass in the square in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica and the Bishop of Pécs (Five Churches), László Felföldi, will speak. After the service, the traditional St. Jobb procession takes place.
Andrássy Avenue is once again traditionally home to a parade this year, showcing emblematic figures and symbols of Christianity, as well as prominent figures, inventors, artists and sites of Hungarian history, in a series of spectacular rolling installations.
In front of the Palace Garden Bazaar, on the street of Hungarian tastes, visitors can taste the cake as well as the breads of St. Stephen’s Day.
In Alkotmány Street there is an exhibition that shows the cultural richness and diversity of the country. Kossuth Square will see the reconstructed Golden Train, a reliquary chariot built in 1938 to transport the Holy Right, the miraculous right hand of St. Stephen, through the country.
On the square of March 15, the great athletes and Olympians of the country will be presented. The program also includes sports games and an exhibition of photos and memorabrabies of the country’s Olympians.
Hungarian designers, designers and artisans will be presented at Bálna as part of the program of the Hungarian Agency for Fashion and Design.
On the meadow in front of the castle, between the Vázsony Vilmos promenade and the Vajdahunyad promenade, a children’s festival is organized, where families can enjoy the fairytale characters of István Csukás, the performances of the Tintaló Society, the stilt running comedy of the Vaga band and the knights’ games, among other things.
In addition to the musical and interactive programs, you should also visit the Stephansaal of the Buda Castle Palace, which has been faithfully renovated. The ornate interiors can be visited free of charge from 20 August until the end of the month.
The Hungarian Defense Forces are preparing a surprise for the air parade in Budapest on August 20. The commander of the Hungarian armed forces, Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi, said that there will be something to see over the Danube that the people of Hungary have never seen before. On St. Stephen’s Day, more than 200 newly appointed lieutenants will take the oath of office in front of the parliament on Kossuth Lajos Square. Afterwards, the flight parade over the Danube begins at 9 a.m. Almost the entire Hungarian Air Force will be represented at the event, which will last about three quarters of an hour.
This year, too, it is worth watching the approximately 35-minute fireworks display, which starts at 9:00 p.m., from a good vantage point, because eight times as many rockets – around 40,000 – were ordered for this year’s fireworks as in previous years.
Source: Magyar Nemzet