Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a great time last night and are ready to see what 2018 holds for you. Here is how we celebrate New Year’s in Hungary:
In the old days this has been the day of superstitions and predictions. Some of them still exists, but most of them are gone. For example we don’t make love forecasts anymore but the remaining habits are all in order to bring luck for the next year. The main symbols of luck are clovers, coins, pigs and chimney-sweeps. These usually appear as decoration, small ornaments or toys. People usually go to house or organised parties this evening. There are some beliefs like you shouldn’t borrow money this day or at least you have to pay it back till midnight. And of course everyone sums up his or her year and makes resolutions for the next one.
Eating habits are also organised to bring luck. The only meat you can eat is pork, because this animal digs his nose in the ground so he can ‘dig out the luck from the ground’. Pigs are often cooked in whole this day or they are eaten as sausages. Stuffed cabbage is also a New Year’s dish, it is made of pork mixed with rice, onions and spices and they are coated in sour cabbage. You can not eat poultry because they ‘scratch out the luck from the soil’. Fish depends on where you live, because if you are living next to a river, it will bring you luck but if you don’t, then it will swim away with it. Leguminous plants such as beans or lentil symbolize money so they are highly recommended. Sometimes people put some dry ones in their wallets as well. Eating something sweet can make you next year sweet. And of course champagne to clink glasses with at midnight.
At midnight people listen to the Hungarian National Anthem and then wish each other a Happy New Year. The American habit of kissing your partner at midnight also starts to become popular. In bigger towns their are always huge fireworks as well.