Christmas in Hungary

Christmas in Hungary

In Hungary, Santa doesn’t have anything to do with Christmas, he comes on

December 6th. On this day Santa makes his rounds among the shops, schools and

parades just like he does in other countries. Kids get candy and chocolate in red


The Christmas tree is bought a day to a week (or two in some extreme cases) before

Christmas eve and stored outside in the cold – all wrapped up, so it will last longer.

In some parts of the country people used to hang their trees out of apartment

windows, tall buildings, or put them on balconies if they did not have a yard or


On December 24th (Christmas Eve), everything closes around noon or by 4pm at the

latest. All public transportation stops as well. People get home by that time, and

start putting up the tree (it’s rarely done before the 24th!). So the afternoon and early

evening is occupied by decorating the tree. Later a light dinner is served after which

family members would place the present that they got for each other under the tree.

After the tree is lit, present are opened and families spend the rest of the evening

together. Hungarian Christians often go to midnight mass.

The following two days are national holidays and people usually spend the first day

with their immediate families, having a big festive meal that starts around 2pm. The

next day is the same, but people usually get together with extended family members

or attend Church

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