About Hungary

The Geology of Hungary
A Brief History – The Birth of the Hungarian Kingdom
Kölcsey Ferenc Grammar School Zalaegerszeg
Music of Hungary
Ferenc Kölcsey: National Anthem
National Parks in Hungary
Customs and Traditions
Hungarian Cuisine


Comenius - European Cooperation on School Education

Customs and traditions

In Hungary there are national customs which used to be very popular in the past, and some of them still exist like our Nativity plays at Christmas or the sprinkling of the girls and painting at Easter.

Lucázás can also happen in villages. Luca day is 13th December. This is also called the day of the wicked because people thought that on this day witches are more active than usually, that’s why women were forbidden to work on Luca day.

6A Luca chair was made by people so that they can able to recognize witches. It had to be made of 13 different types of wood. Besides this there are many things which are in connection with Luca day like weather predictions or wedding prophecies. But the custom which can be seen nowadays too is that young men steal or change people’s gates.


45Our other custom is the so called regölés. Men would go from house to house and they would greet the people. This is one of the most archaic customs of the Hungarians. Sometimes men used bagpipes or sticks with chains or bells to make their performances more interesting – and loud! Regölés took place on 26th December, but it doesn’t really exist any more.


5Right before Christmas, Hungarian children presented the birth of Jesus Christ by Nativity plays. Nowadays they still do so, mostly in villages.



Another way of preparing for Christmas was the making of the Advent wreath. People still make it. This wreath is usually made from evergreen. The four candles on it symbolize the four Sundays of the Advent period. The last candle is lighted on the last Sunday before Christmas.

In Hungary Christmas tree has always been a symbol of Christmas. In the past there were sacred images and a crib under the tree. Nowadays instead of these, people place gifts there.

Apart from these there were also different fruits and vegetables which had an important role in people’s lives. For example, garlic dipped into honey, apple and nut meant health. To be rich people ate beans, peas, fish, pumpkins and poppy-seed cake. They made a lot of kinds of food for Christmas and all of the family members had to taste everything at least once.

7Hungarians also had a tradition on the last day of the year. On 31st December they made a lot of noise to chase the bygone year away.

In February Hungarian people tried to chase the winter away by wearing frightening costumes. This custom is the so called Busójárás and it still exists today. People think if they frighten the winter, the spring will come earlier.


Written by Dóri