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Public Holidays and Common Festivals in Hungary: Hungarian Celebrations of New Year, Easter, Pentecost and Christmas

Published by Mose Czyzewski

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There are 12 Hungarian public holidays. There many also be bridge public holidays and additional public holidays in any given year in Hungary.

Christmas and New Year in Hungary

Christmas Day on December 25, the Second Day of Christmas (Boxing Day) on December 26 and New Year’s Day on January 1 are all public holidays in Hungary. Many people also have time off work on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Christmas Eve is an additional public holiday in some years. Some people also take time to celebrate Saint Nicholas’ Day on 6th December, especially if they have young children. However, this date is not a public holiday.

A large proportion of people take some part of their annual leave in the last two and first weeks of the year. Many businesses and organizations are closed or offer a reduced level of service for much of this period.

Hungarian Public Holidays Around Easter and Pentecost

Easter and Pentecost (Whit or Whitsun) are celebrated according to the Western Christian or Catholic calendars in Hungary. Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Pentecost Sunday and Pentecost Monday are public holidays. Good Friday is not a Hungarian public holiday. May Day or Labor Day on the first of May is also a public holiday. Some people also take time off to celebrate Carnival in February or early March.

National Holidays in Hungary

There are three Hungarian public holidays to mark important historical events. These are Saint Stephen’s Day, the 1848 Revolution Day and Republic Day.

Saint Stephen’s Day is on August 20. This day honors the life of Stephen I of Hungary. He reigned as prince and king of Hungary from about 997 CE to 1038 CE. August 20 marks the anniversary of the day which his sacred relics were moved to the city of Buda, now in Budapest.

The 1848 Revolution Day holiday is on March 15. It marks the anniversary of the outbreak of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. This was one of the events that sparked the Wars of Independence that swept the Habsburg Empire in the mid 1800s.

Republic or National Day is on 23rd October. It marks the anniversary of the start of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. This was a revolt against the Stalinist government and the implementation of Soviet policies. The revolution ended by Soviet troops on 10th November 1956.

All Saints’ Day in Hungary

All Saints’ Day on the first of November is a public holiday in Hungary. It is a quiet day to remember friends and family members who have died. Many families visit grave yards to tidy the graves and leave flowers on them. Halloween is not generally celebrated in Hungary.

List of Hungarian Public Holidays

The national public holidays in Hungary are:

  • New Year’s Day on 1st January.
  • 1848 Revolution Day on 15th March.
  • Easter Sunday and Monday.
  • Labour Day on 1st May.
  • Pentecost (or Whitsun) Sunday and Monday.
  • The Day of Saint Stephen of Hungary on 20th August.
  • Republic Day on 23rd October.
  • All Saints’ Day on 1st November.
  • Christmas Day on 25th December.
  • The Second Day of Christmas (boxing Day) on 26th December.

Bridge public holidays occur on Mondays and Fridays. If a public holiday falls on a Tuesday, there is a bridge holiday on the Monday beforehand. If a public holiday falls on a Thursday, there is a bridge holiday on the following Friday.

The bridge public holidays fill up the gaps in the working week. This enables people in Hungary to take short breaks around many public holidays without using any of their annual leave entitlement. Some people have to work on some Saturdays to make up the working time lost to bridge holidays. Bridge public holidays were introduced in 2007.

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