15 March marks one of the three national holidays of Hungary and is celebrated in memory of the 1848–49 Revolution and the following War of Independence.
The Revolution, during which the Hungarian people revolted against the Austro-Hapsburg rule, shaped the course of Hungarian history decisively. The country had been part of the Austrian Empire since the beginning of the 19th century and was therefore ruled by the Austrian monarch, but mid-century constitutional tensions and the desire for independence arose. Hungary thus became the third country in Europe to hold democratic elections and set up a representative parliament in 1848. Although the Revolution was not successful, it constitutes a turning point in Hungarian history. Therefore, 15 March is seen as the symbol of the independent, modern Hungary and crucial for the construction of the national identity.
Traditionally, the anniversary of the Revolution is celebrated with speeches and music throughout the country. The Nemzeti dal (National song), a poem by Sándor Petőfi which had influenced the Revolution in 1848, is frequently recited. People also wear ribbons in the national colours red, white, and green to commemorate the people who lost their lives in the fight for independence.
Did you know?
- Hungarian is – alongside Finnish and Estonian – one of the few European languages that did not descent from Indo-European (it is a member of the Uralic language family).
- The world-famous Rubik’s cube was invented by Hungarian sculptor Ernő Rubik.
- Hungarians know how to relax in style – throughout the country you can find no less than 1,500 thermal baths with stunning Roman, Greek, and Turkish architecture.
How is your Hungarian? Practise your interpreting skills with the Speech Repository, where you can find 104 public and 48 restricted speeches in Hungarian, on all sorts of topics! Let’s get started!
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