St. Stephen’s Day in Hungary

August 20th is a national holiday in Hungary that celebrates the canonization of the first Christian king, Stephen I in 1083. He was born a pagan and as the son of Grand Prince Géza. After fighting for his throne, he recieved the blessing and a crown from Pope Sylvester II, and he dedicated his region to Virgin Mary. Hungary became one of the Christian countries in Europe. He later founded several monasteries and did everything to spread Christianity. His canonization was inchoated by King Ladislaus and now he is remembered as St. Stephen. His right fist (also called as the Holy Dexter) became a relic that can be found in the St. Stephen’s basilica in Budapest. The other part of his body was buried in the Cathedral he established in Székesfehérvár.

On this day there are rejoicings in almost every town that include pageantries, fairs and fireworks. The greatest celebration is in Budapest though. They take the Holy Dexter for a procession, give away honours and announce the Cake of the Country. This year it’s the scummy hazelnut cake from Balaton. Yummi!!

Here are some short recordings from yesterday’s celebration in Szeged:


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