The holidays are here and Hungarians are busy preparing for the most wonderful time of the year. Ever wondered how Hungarians spend Christmas? Let us give you a little taste into the festive traditions of Budapest.
If you go on a Budapest sightseeing trip, you will surely notice the Christmas markets that are now abundant in the city. The selection is better than ever as artisans and local farmers bring their finest products to the stalls. Look for sausages, sweets, mulled wine and chimney cake to warm you up. Most families visit the markets at least for a short stroll to get into the holiday spirit.
Probably the most important moment of a Hungarian family’s Christmas is the dinner on Christmas Eve. The traditional menu cannot be anything else than fish! Have a fish soup and fried fish medallions is a must. According to popular belief, the scales of the fish bring good fortune and wealth to the family. Anyhow, fish sales skyrocket at this time of the year!
Buying and decorating the Christmas tree together is also an integral part of the celebration. Hungarians flock to the vendors to get the best trees and decorate them the day before Christmas Eve. Coming together and hanging szaloncukor (sweet chocolate candies) on the tree is a tradition that has been going on for ages.
Around New Year’s Eve, people feel that it is time to party and they hit the streets. For only one day a year, it is legal to light firecrackers and celebrate the coming of the new year. Most Hungarians have a party with their friends or family and share a glass of champagne when the clock hits midnight. Sometimes they offer lucky charms, mostly a coin, to each other to bring good luck in the coming year.
If you wish to see more of Hungary during Christmas, make sure to jump on a hop on hop off tour in Budapest and see the festive atmosphere for yourself! You won’t need a map or an itinerary, we will take you where you need to go! Just search our site and make a booking to secure your holiday adventure in Hungary!