In the following, some interesting facts are listed about the Hungarian National Anthem.

1. What was before it?
Before Kölcsey created this piece of art, the Catholics and the Reformed Protestants of Hungary had different anthems. In the early 19th century, the Austrian imperial anthem was used at formal occasions, but the Rákóczi March was also played often.

2. When was it first performed?
It was set to music in 1944, by Ferenc Erkel. Its first public performance was on August 10, 1944, at the inauguration of the Széchenyi steamboat.

3. Translations
The Hungarian National Anthem is translated into 30 languages.

4. Anecdote bout its removal
It is said that Mátyás Rákosi wanted Gyula Illyés to write another new national poem, but the poet did not undertake the task. The party also tried to convince Zoltán Kodály, but the composer said: ’Why do you need a new one? The old anthem is good for us.’ After this, the issue was taken off from the agenda.


5. How to sing the lyrics?
The singing of the national anthem in complicated by the fact that in Hungarian, the sixth row (”hozz rá víg esztendőt”)consists of six syllables, but the rhythm is made up of seven sounds. The modern performances overcome this problem by bending the word ”hozz”. It is a  curiosity that Bálint Hóman, Religion and Education Minister made a decree in 1939, saying that for the ease of singing, the original text has to be changed to ”hozz reá víg esztendőt”.

6. It is included in the passport
The current Hungarian passports contain the anthem in two ways: a piece of the manuscript is embossed on the plastic sheet, while the sheet music can be seen under UV light.

7. It has a statue
The statue was inaugurated on May 7, 2006, in Budakeszi. The work of Mária V. Majzik is nine metres long and four and a half metres tall. It displays the lines of the poem on the radii of a circle, and a bronze God-figure is put in the centre. At formal occasions, 21 bronze bells play the anthem.

8. When did it become official?
Although the Hungarian government recognized the official status of the anthem is 1903, the bill was not sanctioned by Franz Jospeh I., King of Hungary; therefore, it did not enter into force. It was formally included in the constitution only in 1989.

based on article of
translated by Vivien Pásztai

Photo: Pixabay


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