August 20th is the greatest national holiday for Hungarians, celebrated with day-long festivities followed by spectacular fireworks throughout the country. August 20th commemorates the foundation of the Hungarian state, it's like Hungary's 4th of July. Also called as St. Stephen's Day, remembering Stephen I, the first king of Hungary and founder of the Kingdom of Hungary, who was canonized on August 20th, 1083 by Pope Gregory VII.
Festivities start in the morning with the raising of the Hungarian flag and continue on all day long, culminating in a spectacular fireworks display over the Danube.
In 2015, the August 20th celebrations begin with the raising of the Hungarian flag (8:30 am to 10 am) in Kossuth tér, continued with an open day at the Parliament (10 am to 4 pm), and several other programs. There will be a cake cutting ceremony, as it has now become a tradition to select an official cake for Hungary on August 20th. Visitors to the 'Street of Hungarian Flavors' (Magyar Ízek Utcája) on the Danube embankment can enjoy a slice. Celebrations continue with many other programs. Some of the highlights are:
'Street of Hungarian Flavors'
Where: Danube embankment in Buda
When: 10 am to 8 pm
Where: Várkert Bazár
When: 10 am to 9 pm
Where: St. Stephen's Basilica (Szent István tér)
When: 5 pm
Procession of St. Stephen's Holy Right Hand
Where: St. Stephen's Basilica - Szent István tér - Október 6. utca - József Attila utca - Széchényi tér - Zrínyi utca - Szent István tér
When: from 5 pm
Where: both embankments of the river Danube
When: from 9 pm to 9:30 pm
The Festival of Folk Arts, held in Buda Castle, is also celebrated over the St Stephen's Day weekend.
St. Stephen's Day also marks the festival of the new bread celebrated in cities and towns across the country. Traditionally, the first bread from the new harvest is baked on this day.