August 20, National Day of Hungary

New bread in Ibrany, Hungary. Photo: Andrea Gerak
New bread in Ibrány, Hungary

August 20 is one of Hungary’s three national holidays – somehow, personally I have always found it the nicest one, and it is the official national holiday for the country, since 1991. (The other two are March 15 and October 23.)

The meaning of this day has changed over the times: in the socialist era when I grew up, it was to celebrate the Constitution.

Nowadays, it can be called a triple celebration:

  1. Day of the New Bread: the first bread from this year’s harvest is baked and blessed. Traditionally, it had been done in July, from the Middle Ages.
  2. St Stephen‘s Day: remembering Stephen I, the first king of Hungary and founder of the Kingdom of Hungary, who was canonized on August 20th (five days after his death), 1038 by Pope Gregory VII.
  3. Foundation of the State; the date of the communist Constitution was August 20 in 1949, and therefore in the decades after, it was also called Constitution Day or also, Day of the Foundation of the State. Kind of like the Hungarian 4th of July. The reason for it is simple: in the communist era, it seemed more convenient to celebrate something that was not associated with the country having been a kingdom with the blessing of the highest Christian dignity for about 1000, but to give credit to an event that would support the ruling Socialist party.

St Stepehn's statue / Szent Istvan szobor, Ibrany
Ibrány (HU): St Stephen’s statue
St Stephen's statue in Budapest,
Budapest: St Stephen’s statue at the Fisherman Bastion, by Alajos Strobl

On this day, there are many festive programs all over the country, so if you happen to be in Hungary (or anywhere else in the world with a more active Hungarian community), you can certainly have a wonderful day or long weekend.

One thing to do is the magnificent fireworks in Budapest. This is from 2014, enjoy:

Happy birthday, Hungary!

— Text, photos: Andrea Gerák

*****Online busking (or more elegantly: crowdfunding)*****
Váci street Budapest, 2019 December. My Guestbook and biscuit box. Yes it’s raining and yes I am singing in the street.
End of 2019:

I decided to settle down in Hungary again, after 20 years of wandering about. It’s a bit bigger challenge to get the show rolling than I’ve thought, therefore I am singing in the streets as a temporary solution, to have food and a decent roof above my head and other such basics, so the beginnings are quite exciting… The whole story: Cup of tea for Andrea!

If you like my work and want to support, there are several ways to give me a kickstart.

  1. For a singer, the best support of course, is booking her for shows,
  2. Listen to and download her songs
  3. You can also throw some love at PayPal.me/GerakAndrea (no registration needed, cards are also accepted), or
  4. Bank transfer: IBAN: HU46 120105320021373500100000 SWIFT: UBRTHUHBXXX Raiffeisen Bank, Gerák Andrea

Thank you very much, Andrea & Karma will love you forever!

Andrea Gerák (text, photos, video)

Comments, questions, booking or collab requests, fan letters, love letters…:

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