Christmas in Hungary

The holiday season starts with Advent in Hungary, too. Advent wreaths can be seen in stores, schools, offices, and in almost every home. This time of year is the preparation for Christmas. Candles are decorated with red and gold ribbons symbolizing life and brightness. Most children get Advent calendars with a small gift or candie for every day before Christmas. Lights and decoration however stay inside the houses - streets and houses are not as spectacular there as they are in the US. Also, we never decorate a tree before the Holy night. Christmas trees can be seen during advent only in stores symbolizing holiday shopping.
We decorate trees on the holy night in immediate families. Christmas is a private, family holiday in Hungary, we don't go to parties. Most families decorate the tree together, but some families keep the older tradition that tree should be a surprise for chidren who even believe it was bought by angels. When I was a child I so truly believed it that I SAW angels flying around with small trees in their hands. Children enter the room only when the small tree bells ring and music arises. Gifts lay around the tree with small labels saying the name of someone in the family. Family-members sing Christmas songs together, then open their gifts and spend the night together. The menu for Christmas night is usually fish or cabbage with the special poppy-bread called "beigli." Christmas is a 2-day holiday here, we are proud that it was 2-day holiday even during communism. This was actually the only thing we could gain from our lost 1956 war. In the 2 days of Christmas big families meet, often travelling to another town, or maybe very close friends visit each other. But these days are private days of our rush lives. We stop for 2 days and turn to people we love the most. Christmas is the holiday of love and heart.

Santa in Hungary
Folk Traditions in Hungary
Holiday Cooking
My Christmas Webrings
Christmas Links

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