Video: Hungary Celebrates National Holiday, With Speeches & Fireworks

  • 24 Aug 2015 9:04 AM
Video: Hungary Celebrates National Holiday, With Speeches & Fireworks
Celebrations of Saint Stephen’s Day were held across the country and in Hungarian communities in neighbouring countries. In front of Parliament the national flag was hoisted with military honours. As a traditional part of the ceremony, young army officers took their oaths after the hoisting of the flag. In his address to the new officers, President János Áder said that the nation should take a joint effort “to build a new security for our civic democracy in the 21st century”.

“Building security is up to us, all citizens of Hungary,” the president said, adding that “our world resembles less and less the old one we are accustomed to”. Áder referred to Stephen I, the founder of the Hungarian state, and the kings that followed him, who were committed to building a safe and stable state for the people. “Hungarians have always found a way to renew that legacy and they could only rely on themselves in those efforts,” Áder added.

Saint Stephen’s legacy suggests “responsibility and loving assistance”, Cardinal Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Budapest-Esztergom, said at a traditional August 20 mass celebrated in front of Saint Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest. Erdő said that “the thousands of people coming to Hungary pose further and further questions to all of us”.

He said that the current wave of international migration “ far exceeds our individual or national capacities” but added that “people must face things they may not fully understand; they must act and often there is no time for consideration”.

Speaking at a ceremony in Hódmezővásárhely, government office chief János Lázár referred to Saint Stephen as having been not only a founder of state but a builder of a Christian Europe. “August 20 is about that dual responsibility; Hungary’s role arising from its geographical location has not changed,” he said, and compared Hungary to a fortress defending Europe at its borders.

Concerning immigrants arriving in Europe from the south and east, Lázár said that they were “not an enemy but a burden”.

The government office chief insisted that neither Hungary nor Europe has the strength to cope with that extra burden: “if we do nothing, we could become a rescue ship sinking under the weight and then everybody will drown”.

Source - Visit Hungary Matters to sign-up for MTI’s twice-daily newsletter.

MTI photo: Koszticsák Szilárd

  • How does this content make you feel?