20. August-St. Stephen’s Day 2022

august, 2022

18aug(aug 18)08:0021(aug 21)21:0020. August-St. Stephen's Day 2022Most Programs Are FREE

Time

18 (Thursday) 08:00 - 21 (Sunday) 21:00

Location

Several Venues In Budapest

Health Guidelines for this Event

Outdoor Event

Excerpt

August 20th is one of the most important national holidays in Hungary. We celebrate the foundation of the state by the nation’s first king, St. Stephen. Celebrations take place at the Parliament, and the riverbanks in both Buda and Pest. The highlight of the day is an impressive fireworks launched from ships on the Danube.

Hungary’s most prominent National Holiday offered a varied and rich program in previous years, but this year even more festivities, concerts, foodie events welcome tourists and locals alike in Budapest.

Quick Links: What’s The Holiday Is All About?Opening Hours Of Shops/Cafes/BathsPublic TransportHungary’s Cake 2022Street of Hungarian Flavours

Detailed Program: 18. August/Thursday19. August/Friday20. August/Saturday

TIP: Fireworks: Best Spots to ViewHistorical Background on August 20th

What Does Hungary Celebrate On August 20.?

20th August is St. Stephen’s Day in Hungary and it is a public holiday. We celebrate the foundation of the Hungarian state more than 1000 years ago.

a round-spahe bread with a national tricolor ribbon tied on it

The new bread is blessed on this day too at the Festival Of Folk Arts in Buda Castle.

Besides commemorations organized by political parties, countless programs await both locals and tourists all the day round

  • Including things to do for families with children.

Festivities start already on 18th August/Thursday with the spectacular fireworks closing the holiday on 20th August, Saturday.

Main Program Venues On 20. August

Opening Hours Of Shops, Cafes, Baths, Museums

This year St. Stephen’s Day falls on Tuesday. Most shops, markets, services will be closed on both Monday and Tuesday.

The majority of cafes and restaurants – especially in the city centre – are open though.

Most Museums also welcome visitors on the holiday. The thermal baths, lidos are also open:

Note: Public transportation services operate according to holiday schedule but with the Fireworks and other festivities changes in service – especially tram 2 along the Pest riverbank – can be expected.

Elizabeth Bridge will be closed off all traffic on 20. August between cc. 18.00 – 23.00. The Chain Bridge is closed off traffic due to reconstruction works.

Street of Hungarian Flavours, 19 – 20. August, 2022

chocolate snails and other pastries in woven baskets on the Street of Hungarian Flavors fest

A Gastro Promenade on the Danube Bank in Buda, in front of the Várkert Bazár/Castle Bazaar.

Opening Hours:

  • 18. Aug/Saturday: 10.00 – 24.00,
  • 19. Aug/Sunday: 10.00 – 24.00 , and
  • 20. Aug/Monday: 10.00 – 24.00.

Location: Between Várkert Bazaar and  Döbrentei Square in Buda (north of Chain Bridge)

Programs start on 18th August:

TIP: Visit the Street of Hungarian Flavours (Magyar Ízek Utcája) in front of the Várkert Bazaar, Buda, – a beautiful, refurbished series of buildings built at the end of the 19.century – to have a taste of traditional Hungarian food and drinks.

You Can Taste

  • Typical Hungarian dishes: stews, stuffed cabbage
  • The 3 winners of the St. Stephen’s day bread contest (a white sourdough bread, honey apple rye bread, and a whole bread),
  • Cakes and pastries
  • Milk loaves, scones and other delicacies (jams, preserves, honey, cheese).

Cake of Hungary – along with the Sugar-free Cake – will also be introduced there on 18th August that everyone can taste (prepare for a long queue though).

Hungary’s Cake & Sugarfree Cake 2022

Each year a special cake is prepared to celebrate our country’s foundation.

The National Guild of Hungarian Confectioners selects the best recipe submitted by confectioners from all over Hungary.

You can first taste it – along with the healthy version torte  (see photos below)

  • On 19th, 20th and 21st August, during the culinary programs of the holiday (Street of Hungarian Flavours in Buda at the Várkert Bazaar between Clark Adam tér and Szilágyi Dezső tér), then
  • In major confectioneries everywhere in the country.

Huncut Szilva Herceg/Mischievous Plum Prince Cake, No Flour

Huncut Szilva Herceg – a cake inspired by the red wine of Eger and the flavour of plum – won this year made by the Vanilla & Gelarto Confectionery in Nagykőrös town.

The whole plum/chocolate mousse cake and a slice from it placed on a round white plate

The cake is made without flour and consists of the following layers

  • Hazelnut dacquoise sponge with a crispy caramelized chocolate cinnamon layer
  • Fresh, light and piquant plum chocolate mousse with a dash of Eger red wine
  • Blueberry-plum jelly flavoured again with a little bit of Eger red wine
  • Topped with a red fruity glaze evoking again the taste of plum.

Hungary’s Sugar Free Cake: “Granny’s Favourite”, A Healthy Option

a slice of red and white cake cut from the whole round cake and placed on a white cake plate The whole cake is place on a round wooden tray.

With the sugar free birthday cake people with diabetes or the health conscious can also enjoy a slice of dessert.

In 2022 a creation named Granny’s Favourite (Nagyi kedvence) made by the Virág Cukrászda és Kávéház in Szeged town won.

The delicacy is without sugar, white flour, artificial additives and preservatives.

The sponge layer is made from almond and coconut flour.

The white chocolate-pistachio crunch is layered with raspberry coulis, mascarpone mousse, enhanced with hibiscur flower and rosehip coulis.

It’s a cheerful and light concoction that everyone can enjoy without remorse.

A slice contains only 233.8 kcal, and only 11,9 g carbohydrates.

Programs On 18. August 2022, Thursday

Inn Festival Vörösmarty Festival, 10.00 – 23.00

  • You can taste the food specialties of Hungary’s best inns and pubs on the historic plaza at the northern end of Váci utca.
  • You can also enjoy folk dance performances and music here.


Tabán (Retro Tabán) – Rock Concerts

The peaceful, green hills behind Buda Castle, called Tabán will be a venue for retro rock concerts.

  • 18:00 – 18:50 Mobilmánia
  • 19:00 – 19:50 Deák Bill Gyula
  • 20:00 – 21:30 Nagy Feró és a Beatrice

Programs on 19. August 2022, Friday

Inn Festival Vörösmarty Festival

  • 14:00 -15:00 Dance performances, Szinvavölgyi Néptáncműhely
  • 15:00-16:00 Fashion then and now … an unusual fashion show
  • 16:00-17:00 Hungarian Dance Rhapsody
  • 17:00-17:30 Introduction of inns with Chef Lázár
  • 17:30-18:30 Classical Tunes Concert
  • 18:30-19:00 Introduction of inns with Chef Lázár
  • 19:00-20:00 Hungarikums in folk art dance show
  • 20:00-20:30 Introduction of inns with Chef Lázár
  • 20:30-21:30 Concert Of The Szilvási Gipsy Folk Band
  • 21:30-22:00 Folk music

Alkotmány Utca – Golden Train (Aranyvonat), Promenade Of Cities Exhibition, 09.00 – 20.00

  • In the street running between the Parliament and Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út you can view the impressive golden train made in 1938 for the 900th anniversary of the death of King St. Stephen, the country’s first Christian king. The Golden Train will be exhibited between 10.00 – 20.00.
  • The Promenade Of Cities will be on from 09.00 till 18.00.

Operetta Show – Vigadó Tér, 10.00 – 22.00

  • The beautiful, historic Vigadó Hall on the Danube Promenade gives a backdrop to a series of Operetta pieces and musical shows performed by the artists of the Hungarian Operetta Theatre.

Festival Of Folk Arts, Buda Castle

A 3-day folk craft festival and fair with workshops, concerts and other events. Ideal for families with kids since there will be workshops and activities for children.

  • 10:00 – 19:00 Fabatka Porta – folk playground
  • 10:00 – 21:00 Folk art & craft programs (Tóth Árpád sétány)

Whale Budapest, Fashion & Design Show

Szabadrét Festival/Concerts – Erzsébet Tér, 16.00 – 23.00

  • The festival in the park on Erzsébet Square is geared more towards the younger generation with electronic music and a vibrant atmosphere.
  • 16:00 – 22:00 Time Capsules (Send a message to your future self!)
  • 16:00-17:00 Belau
  • 17:30-19:00 DJ Panda concert
  • 19:00-20:00 Sobek concert
  • 20:00-20:30 LED Dance-show
  • 20:30-21:30 The Anahit concert
  • 21:30-23:00 MULYA concert

Street Music & Food Truck Show – Liberty Square/Szabadság Tér

  • Grab a burger or other street food from one of the food trucks and enjoy the music in this lovely leafy, park.
  • 18:00 – 19:10 The Moonshiners concert

Street Of Hungarian Flavours – Várkert Bazaar in Buda, 10.00 – 21.00

Concerts and the Street of Hungarian Flavours gastronomy festival.

  • 10:00 – 18:00 Napraforgó Playhouse
  • 11:00 – 12:00 Puppet Theatre Fabók Mancsi
  • 10:00 – 18:00 Molyolda – historic games
  • 15:00 – 16:00 Puppet Theatre Fabók Mancsi
  • 17:00 – 18:00 Judit Halász concert
  • 20:00 – 21:00 Ferenczi György és az első pesti rackák

Jozsef Gruber Reservoir (Gruber József víztároló medence), Tabán – Concerts

Address: Víztározó köz, Bp. 1016. District I.

  • 11:00 – 12:00 Brass concert, Szent István Király Szakgimnázium
  • 12:00 – 13:00 Music class
  • 13:00 – 14:00 Jazz concert by the students of the Ferenc Liszt University of Music
  • 14:00 – 5:00 Music class
  • 15:00 – 16:00 Brass concert, Szent István Király Szakgimnázium
  • 16:00 – 17:00 Music class
  • 18:00 – 19:00 Music class
  • 19:00 – 20:30 Modern Art Orchestra – Kodály Choir Debrecen- Kodály Concert

Pannonia Heritage Ship – FREE Visit, 09.00 – 18.00

Location: Id. Antall József Rakpart – The Embankment Between The Chain Bridge & Margaret Bridge

The historic ship built in 1927 boasts striking interior that you can visit fre eof charge.

Tabán (Retro Tabán) – Pop Concerts

The peaceful, green hills behind Buda Castle, called Tabán will be a venue for concerts by Hungarian retro pop bands.

  • 18:00 – 18:50 Back II Black
  • 19:00 – 19:50 Hevesi Tamás
  • 20:00 – 21:30 Szikora Róbert és az R-GO

Programs on 20. August 2022, Saturday

Festivities At The Parliament, 20. August, 08.00 – 09.15

soldiers marching in front of the Parliament, that is decorate dwith the national flag

As usual, a series of state ceremonies launch the holiday programs in the morning, on St. Stephen’s day, August 20. to commemorate the Foundation of the Hungarian State.

The main venues of the state programs are Kossuth Square in front of the Hungarian Parliament, and Heroes’ Square.

Besides the state celebrations, a wide range of other programs welcome visitors both in the morning and in the afternoon ensuring wonderful time for the whole family.

  • The celebration starts with the raising of the Hungarian flag on Kossuth Square at 08.00 am.
  • Beethoven: King Stephen – Overture, Parts from King Stephen Rock Opera: Óbuda Danubia Orchestra and Honvéd Choir

Air Parade – Banks Of The Danube, 20. August, 09.00 – 10.00

Venue: over the Danube at the Parliament

Turn your eyes towards the sky at the riverbank where a spectacular show with the backdrop of the imposing building will take place starting at 09.00.

Alkotmány Utca – Golden Train (Aranyvonat), Promenade Of Cities Exhibition, 09.00 – 20.00

  • In the street running between the Parliament and Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út you can view the impressive golden train made in 1938 for the 900th anniversary of the death of King St. Stephen, the country’s first Christian king. The Golden Train will be exhibited between 10.00 – 20.00.
  • The Promenade Of Cities will be on from 09.00 till 18.00.

Inn Festival /Csárdafesztivál, – Vörösmarty Square, 14.00 – 22.00

  • Folk dance performances and concerts, cooking show between 14.00 – 22.00

Operetta Show – Vigadó Tér, 10.00 – 22.00

  • The beautiful, historic Vigadó Hall on the Danube Promenade gives a backdrop to a series of Operetta pieces and musical shows performed by the artists of the Hungarian Operetta Theatre.

Szabadrét Festival/Concerts – Erzsébet Tér, 16.00 – 23.00

  • The festival in the park on Erzsébet Square is geared more towards the younger generation with electronic music and a vibrant atmosphere.
  • 16:00-22:00 Time Capsules (Send a message to your future self!)
  • 14:00-15:30 iamyank Phasing Shapes concert
  • 15:30-17:00 Indigo Theory concert
  • 18:30-19:30 Galaktic Jackson concert
  • 19:30-20:45 Mius concert
  • 21:30-23:00 Freakin Disco concert

Street Music & Food Truck Show – Liberty Square/Szabadság Tér

  • Grab a burger or other street food from one of the food trucks and enjoy the music in this lovely leafy, park.
  • 14:10 – 15:10 The Moonshiners concert
  • 20:00 – 21:00 The Moonshiners concert

Street Of Hungarian Flavours – Várkert Bazaar in Buda

  • Concerts and the Street of Hungarian Flavours gastronomy festival.
  • 10:00-10:10 Hungary’s Cake 2022
  • 10:00-18:00 House Of Traditions
  • 10:00-18:00 Puppet Show
  • 10:00-11:00 Écsi Gyöngyi
  • 10:00-18:00 Napraforgó Playhouse
  • 11:00-12:00 Pályi János
  • 13:00-14:00 Écsi Gyöngyi
  • 18:00-18:15 Hungarian Association Of Bakers
  • 19:00-20:00 Hot Jazz Band
  • 22:00-23:00 DJ Hobbista

Whale/Bálna Budapest (Divat & Design Festival)

  • 10:00-18:00 Cearmic workshop by BAANTAL
  • 10:00-18:00 Carft island
  • 10:00-18:00 Woodworking workshop by Közös Műhely
  • 10:00-18:00 Sewing
  • 10:00-18:00 Dobj egy műalkotást! – kids’ workshop
  • 10:00-18:00 Lego in the metaversum
  • 10:00-18:00 Romani design jewelry making workshop
  • 10:00-18:00 Mindful embroidery workshop by FankaPanka
  • 10:00-18:00 Felt workshop by Multifelt Factory

Festival of Folk Arts – Buda Castle, August 19 – 21.

festival visitors in the courtyard of the Royal palace
Festival of Folk Arts in Buda Castle

The Festival of Folk Arts in Buda Castle will be still going during the August 20. holiday.

This year the festival will be focusing on the theme of woodworking with Korea as guest nation invited to show their artworks.

  • 10:00-19:00 Fabatka Porta – folk playground
  • 10:00-21:00 Craft programs (Tóth Árpád sétány)
  • 10:30-11:00 Magyar Mozaik (Szentháromság tér)
  • 12:00-12:45 Korean Folk Art (Szentháromság tér)
  • 13:00-14:00 Heritage Gala (Szentháromság tér)
  • 14:30-15:00 Concert – Navratil Andrea és a Kobzos Együttes (Szentháromság tér)
  • 15:00-16:00 Blessing Of The Bread (Szentháromság tér)
  • 16:00-17:00 Folktrend (Szentháromság tér)
  • 18:00-19:00 Korean Folk Art (Szentháromság tér)
  • 19:30-20:00 Concert – Fitos Dezső (Szentháromság tér)

Vajdahunyad Castle In City Park/Városliget – Magical Grove – For Children, 10.00 – 18.00

The recently renewed City park awaits mainly families with kids with exciting programs.

  • Fairy tale exhibition,
  • Prince and princess training workshop,
  • Giant circus

The Basilica – Holy Mass & Procession of St. Stephen’s Holy Right Hand

The mass will take place in front of the St. Stephen’s Basilica at 17.00.

  • Route of the procession: Szent István tér – Zrínyi utca – Október 6. utca – József Attila utca – Széchenyi tér – Zrínyi utca – Szent István tér

Learn about the variety of programs to plan your day well and catch a glimpse into Hungary’s history, culture, and gastronomy. Have a wonderful August 20th National Holiday in the Hungarian capital!

Open Day in the Hungarian Parliament – Holy Crown Of King St. Stephen

2 soldiers standing next to the Holy crown in a glass cabinet, visitors viewing the crown

The Parliament building can be visited without preliminary registration and free of charge from

  • 09.15 till 18.00
  • Last entry is at 16.00.

You can view the

  • Grand Staircase,
  • The Holy Crown of St. Stephen, and the
  • Dome Hall.

Blessing of the Bread and Harvest Procession

people in folk costumes on the Harvest Procession
Harvest Procession in Buda Castle

The blessing of the new bread and a harvest procession

  • Starts at 14.30 on Szent György tér in Buda Castle and
  • Ends at the statue of St. Stephen (Fishermen’s bastion) with the blessing of the new bread.

Pannonia Heritage Ship – FREE Visit, 09.00 – 18.00

Location: Id. Antall József Rakpart – The Embankment Between The Chain Bridge & Margaret Bridge

The historic ship built in 1927 boasts striking interior that you can visit fre eof charge.

Tabán (Retro Tabán) – Pop & Rock Concerts

The peaceful, green hills behind Buda Castle, called Tabán will be a venue for concerts by Hungarian retro pop and rock bands.

  • 17:00-17:50 Abaházi RT
  • 18:00-18:50 Török Ádám & the Mini
  • 19:00-20:30 P.Mobil

Fireworks Starting at 21.00

The dome of the Parliament showered in sparks of fireworks

The highlight of the August 20th-St Stephen’s Day holiday is the Fireworks launched from

  • the fireworks will be launched from 9 points from 4 barges and a pontoon on the Danube in front of the Parliament,
  • from 3 barges and a pontoon between the Chain Bridge and Elizabeth Bridge, and from
  • the Chain Bridge and Elizabeth Bridge

The 30-minute long dazzling show can be seen from numerous points in Budapest, and the  especially at the Danube banks in Pest and Buda.

Best Spots to View the Show:

  • On the Danube embankments between the Chain bridge and Margaret Bridge
  • Any spot from where the Parliament can be seen well: Fishermen’s Bastion in Buda Castle, the Citadel on Gellért Hill
  • a rooftop bar like the High Note Skybar of the Aria Hotel – offers a 360 degree view of the city (reservation is required).
  • teh Intermezzo Restaurant and Rooftop Terrace of Hotel President in Hold utca (reservation for the dinner & fireworks: +36 1 510 3407)
  • Margaret Island – the southern tip, Note: Margaret bridge will be closed off from 18.00 on Sunday and trams 4, 6 won’t stop on the bridge, so get to the island before 18.00. The bridge will be re-opened and tram servcie will be available from around midnight). 

TIP: One of the best venues to enjoy the Fireworks is from a ship on the Danube.

You’ll be also treated to a  pleasant dinner and live music.

Read more details on the Fireworks Show with Boat Tour/Dinner on the Danube on August 20, 2022.

August 20. – Historical Background

Stephen (István in Hungarian, was born in 969. and died in 1038.) was Hungary’s first king and he laid the foundation of the state by converting the nomad and pagan Magyar people (Hungarians) into Christianity.

Founding a State

Until the end of the 10th century the seven Hungarian tribes often attacked and robbed Western European nations. After a major defeat in 955, the Hungarian leaders decided to

  • give up the raids,
  • focus on settling down and
  • found a strong state.

István realized that he can only achieve this by converting Hungarians into the Roman Catholic religion.

The Crown of the First King

He received a crown from Pope Sylvester II and became Hungary’s first king in 1000 AD. The Holy Crown has survived the coming centuries and it is now Hungary’s most precious treasure.

You can view the Holy Crown in the Parliament (open day on 20. August)

King Stephen consolidated his power.

He built churches all around the country and invited Catholic priests to help to lay down the foundations of Christianity. István formed new, strict legislations instead of the former pagan rules and took administrative measures to organize the country.

As a result of King Stephen’s efforts, Hungary became a strong state and a protector of Western Europe during the Medieval Ages. Read more about the History of Budapest.

The Holy Right Hand

Stephen was canonized on 20th of August in 1083 and became the patron of Hungary. For the canonization procedure King Stephen’s remains were exhumed.

According to the story his right hand was found as fresh as the day he was buried.

The hand was detached and since then everybody can view our first king’s mummified right in St. Stephen’s Basilica .

August 20. became Hungary’s national day and stayed to be until 1945, when Communist leaders prohibited celebrations due to the religious nature of the holiday. In 1990 the Hungarian Parliament declared 20th August national holiday again.

Related:

Sziget FestivalMore Budapest Programs in AugustJewish Cultural FestivalFree Mini Concerts

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