On March 15 Hungarians remember the outbreak of the revolution of 1848 which was lead by such national heroes like Lajos Kossuth, István Széchenyi or Ferenc Deák and its demands, like the freedom of the press, independent government or annual national assembly in Pest, were accepted by the Habsburg monarch later. Therefore, there are a lot of programs this weekend; you can even join the famous Hungarian hussars!
Of course, Budapest will serve as the centre for all events with many commemorations and family programs for the national holiday. The main venues will be the Hungarian National Museum‘s Garden, and the Buda Castle and all of them are free.
For tourists, it is important that
shops, markets and services will be closed all day
but Budapest baths (with Sunday opening hours and pricing), downtown cafés and restaurants will be open. Furthermore, regarding transport, services will be less frequent that day.
The official government celebrations start with raising Hungary’s National Flag on Kossuth Square at 9 am. After 9:30 hussars begin marching to the National Museum’s Garden where Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s prime minister will deliver a speech at 10:30. From 11 family programs will start in the garden with folk dance teaching, tasting Hungarian specialities like chimney cake, horse petting and riding on a pony and craft workshops. All exhibitions in the National Museum are
open for the public all day for free.
Though the parliament is closed for visitors on March 15, it will be Open Day on March 16 during which everybody can visit Budapest’s largest and one of the most beautiful buildings for free. There you can see even the crowning jewels including the Holy Crown of Hungary.
In the Buda Castle, there will be family programs all day on March 15. At Fishermen’s Bastion, there will be concerts for children; you can learn folk dance at the Hadik statue, on Kapisztrán square you can join the famous Hussars, and you can even try yourself in fencing. Furthermore, there will be a Hussar camp on Clark Adam Square which is located at the Buda side of the Chain Bridge.
You can also visit the Batthyany Eternal flame near the Parliament or the Petőfi statue near Elisabeth bridge. Lajos Batthyany was the first Hungarian PM executed after Habsburg forces with the help of the Russian crushed the Hungarian war for independence in 1849. Sándor Petőfi was one of the greatest Hungarian poets of that time (he is even well-known in China) who lost his life in a battle against the Russians in Transylvania.
In bigger cities like Szeged, Pécs, Győr, Debrecen or Miskolc similar programs will take place with commemorations, family programs and, of course, activities with the Hussars.
So do not hesitate, grab a red-white-green tricolour cockade, pin it to your cloth and join the celebrations on Friday!
Featured image: the crowd in front of the Hungarian National Museum on March 15, 1848.