Happy Holiday Hungary! Today is Revolution Day. Every year on 15th March, Hungarians commemorate the beginning of the revolution against the Habsburg regime. Here are some ideas about Hungary’s National Holiday and about the events taking place in Budapest.
Brief historical background
The Hungarian Revolution of 1848 was one of the many European Revolutions of 1848 and closely linked to other revolutions of 1848 in the Habsburg areas. The revolution in the Kingdom of Hungary grew into a war for independence from the Austrian Empire, ruled by the Habsburg dynasty.
After a series of serious Austrian defeats in 1849, the Austrian State came close to the brink of collapse, thus the new young emperor Franz Joseph I. had to call for Russian help in the name of the Holy Alliance. Tsar Nicholas I answered, and sent a 200,000 strong army with 80,000 auxiliary forces. Finally, the joint army of Russian and Austrian forces defeated the Hungarian forces. After the restoration of Habsburg power, Hungary was placed under brutal martial law.
Programmes in Budapest
The anniversary of the Revolution’s outbreak, 15 March, is one of Hungary’s three national holidays. This national holiday is commemorated at several different venues around Budapest and starts with raising Hungary’s National Flag on Kossuth Square. The programmes are free of charge and range from great concerts to family entertainment.
The commemoration starts at the Parliament (Kossuth Square) at 9.00 a.m. The other major celebration venue is the Hungarian National Museum, where a parade will be held with the National Equestrian Unit, the Budapest Garrison Orchestra and the Association of Hussar Traditions from 10.30.
For families it’s really worth going to the Buda castle, to the Fishermen’s Bastion and Szentháromság square more specifically, where various concerts will entertain children and adults alike from 10.00 a.m.
Important note: shops and many services are closed on 15th March. Public transport services operate according to the holiday schedule, meaning less frequent services.