National Holiday Events Program, 20 August

  • 18 Aug 2016 1:03 AM
National Holiday Events Program, 20 August
Here's a quick summary of what's officially going on this Saturday, the 'National Holiday of the Foundation of the Hungarian State'. Firstly for interest, a few facts about 'King Stephen the State Founder': <br><br>Stephen The First (997–1038) was the last Grand Prince of the Hungarian Conquerors in the Carpathian Basin, and the first Christian King of Hungary, crowned by Pope Sylvester II. King Stephen had fought for the unity of Hungary against pagan Hungarian warriors, and also for the independence of the Hungarian Kingdom against Western European troops. He brought Christianity to the country and established a legal system. Thus the 20th August in Hungary is both a large scale National and Christian holiday - much loved by Hungarians, especially due to the amazing annual fireworks.

Program of Events

8.30-9.30 Ceremonial hoisting of the national flag of Hungary, followed by the graduation ceremony of military officers (1055 Budapest, Kossuth Lajos Square)

Ceremonial speech by János Áder, President of Hungary
Welcome speech by István Simicskó, Minister of Defence

9.00-24.00 Avenue of Hungarian Flavours (1013 Budapest, Lánchíd Street)

10.00-18.00 Visit to the Holy Crown (1055 Budapest, Kossuth Lajos Square – Parliament)

10.00-21.00 Festival of Folk Arts (1014 Budapest, Buda Castle)

10.00-21.00 Family programmes and open-air concerts (1013 Budapest, Clark Ádám Square)
10.00 Band Buborék for the children
11.00 Hungary’s Cake
11.30 New Bread of Saint Stephen’s Day
16.00 Petruska
17.30 Supernem
19.00 Anna and the Barbies

14.30 Harvest March from Szent György Square and ceremonial blessing of the New Bread at the Saint Stephen’s Statue (1014 Budapest, Buda Castle)

17.00 Holy Mass and the procession of the Holy Right (1051 Budapest, Szent István Square – Saint Stephen’s Basilica)

21.00-21.30 Festive fireworks (Danube banks on both Buda and Pest side between Chain Bridge and Erzsébet Bridge)

Tens of thousands of people participate in these events, especially the fireworks at night, and celebrate the 20th of August in Budapest every year.

Viewing Area

The primary area of visibility and audibility of the fireworks is along the banks of the Danube between the Chain Bridge and Erzsébet Bridge.

Traffic Info

Both the Chain Bridge and Erzsébet Bridge will be closed to the public.

The closing of traffic will be handled by the police forces of the Budapest Police HQ from 6:00 PM until late night on the road sections concerned. Car traffic will not be allowed by the river banks. More information on

Extra public transport services will be provided between the Pest and Buda sides of the Danube. More information about the schedule of extra public transport (bus, tram, metro and HÉV-train) services will be available on

Emergency Security

The staff securing the venue will keep escape paths and evacuation points free to ensure the safe evacuation of the areas in case of emergency. Everybody is kindly requested not to stay at these locations and follow the instructions of the organisers and security staff.

Meteorological Monitoring

Regular weather reports from the National Meteorological Service will provides updates for the organizers about possible hazardous weather conditions, such as rainstorms with hail or high winds, winds above 45 km/h and flash downpours.

Spectators will be informed in a timely manner through the sound system installed along the river banks and at the adjacent venues at least 30 minutes before such weather conditions occur to ensure the safe evacuation of the areas. The organizers and the control staff will cancel the event even if the expected hazardous weather doesn`t end up happening. In this case, the announcer will provide detailed information on the process of evacuation and what to do.

The rescue system along the riverbanks has been established with the help of the National Ambulance Service (OMSZ). The organizers will provide ambulance cars and emergency ambulances along the banks of the Danube and at all event venues during the day. During the fireworks on-site ambulance stations will provide patient care services.


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