A Hungarian Christmas

Update 11-19=-16:ย  Ivett’s blog is no longer available. The link has been removed. This post still gives a look into a Hungarian Christmas! Enjoy!

For today’s guest post I asked Ivett to share some Christmas traditions from another country! She is from Budapest Hungary! I always think it is interesting to find out how people celebrate holidays in other countries!

Overseas greetings

Hey everybody, I am Ivett, coming over from ‘Csalad lettunk’ (in english ‘We became a family’), and I am super excited to be here with you during the most wonderful time of the year! As you may realized, my blog is Hungarian, as I live in Budapest, the capital of Hungary. I met Cate on FB, with the help of Mandy (at House of Rose), and I truly hope, that you will enjoy my post about some of our family’s christmas traditions.

When I say my family is catholic , you may think, that our traditions are similar. But let me tell you, that there are HUUUUGE, and I mean really huge differences. Of course, you have to know, that the source of my knowledge about american christmas traditions are only the movies, cartoons and some great blogs ๐Ÿ™‚ Yep.

The main differences I see:

– Santa Claus has a very different role in our winter traditions. We celebrate Saint Nicholas Day on 6th December. Children has to put their well cleaned boots on the windowsill on the evening of 5th December. By next morning ‘Mikulรกs’ leaves in them chocolate and gifts if they have been good, or a rod if they have been bad. It is common to get both of them, just to remind children, that there were times, when they were bad. ๐Ÿ™‚ ‘Mikulรกs’ is often accompanied by the ‘Krampusz’ , the frightening helper , who looks like a little devil, and who is out to take away the bad ones. So our Santa has really NOTHING to do with Christmas. I will have to say to my little son – after seeing an american santa cartoon or movie, that the world is sooo big that Santa only arrives to the USA on 24th December. Muhaha ๐Ÿ™‚

– As it is not Santa, our giftgiver is the little Jesus. And, he brings not only the gifts, but the Christmas tree too!!! Yeah ladies, we have no christmas tree until Christmas Eve, we have no christmas tree in every room, or so, we have THE christmas tree, which is decorated on the night (ok, on the afternoon ๐Ÿ™‚ ) of 24th December – without the children, so it is one of the biggest surprise for them ๐Ÿ™‚ I and my brother visited our grandma on this afternoon (like any other afternoon during the year) in every year, and when we went home, we were told, ‘ Oh my God, the little Jesus was here, while you were away….’ And there was the tree (always just as tall as the room), fully decorated, and there were gifts under it. We had to change our dress, and we had our dinner together, as quick as possible ๐Ÿ™‚ , and after it, with christmas music on, we could open our boxes. Originally, in the childhood of my parents, little Jesus arrived during the night, and the boxes could be opened only on 25th December, but as I remember my parents never keeped this tradition – they could not wait to see our happy faces ๐Ÿ™‚ After playing a lot together, we usually visited the midnight mass with the whole family.

– As I see, the difference with the tree, is not only the timing. For us, the most important thing about the tree, that it is not only decorated with balls and little figures…. No-no. We put little chocolates on it. Yummie ๐Ÿ™‚ I know a lot of family, who says it does not worth putting the chocolate on the tree, as it is eaten quickly, so they put it under the tree, in a bowl, BUT for me tree is not a christmas tree without chocolate. Maybe you have not heard about it yet, but traditionally we use a special sweet on the tree, which is called “szaloncukor” (parlour candy). It is a small sweetie, chocolate outside – different tastes inside, wrapped in special form. (If you are interested in some details about it, check at wikipedia ๐Ÿ™‚ )To be honest, me and my husband are not a huge ‘szaloncukor’ lovers, so we rather put on the tree the mini version of our favorite chocolates. ๐Ÿ™‚

If I see those soooooooo-perfect trees, that you can find in blogland, I get the feeling, our tree is too colorful. But guess what? I love those white and gold, or any kind of colored -perfectly looking-perfectly shaped trees, but I still feel, that for me a christmas tree is not only about matching ornaments and beautifully looking white lights; a christmas tree cannot be too colorful!

– At last but not least, let me tell you a few words about our Christmas menu. The most traditional dinner on Christmas Eve is the “fisherman’s stew”, which is a very thick soup, stuffed cabbage -sauerkraut stuffed with minced pork and rice; and I myself like to make some meat filled pancakes (crepes) too. For dessert, every family have ‘beigli’- a kind of pastry roll, filled with poppy seeds or walnut. Yummie.

Well I feel like I’ve already written a shorter novel, so I don’t write down all these recipes, but if you are interested, I found a quite good page, where you can check them. ( click )

Thank you so much for reading me! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and I wish you a very happy and successful new year!

Hugs, Ivett


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