March 15 – National Holiday

March 15 is a national holiday in Hungary, commemorating the anniversary of the 1848/49 Revolution against the Habsburg regime. On this day all the supermarkets, shopping malls, etc. will be closed but there are other interesting things to do, e.g.:

9.00 Raising of the Hungarian flag at the Parliament in Kossuth Square
14:00 Ceremonial speech by the Prime Minister of Hungary at the Parliament in Kossuth Square
(Please note that on March 15, 2018 the Parliament building and the Visitor Center are not open for visitors.)
10.00 – 18.00 Various programs in Buda Castle and free admission to several museums

Due to national holiday, on March 16, 2018 there will be an open day in the House of Parliament. Visitors will have the chance to get a glimpse of the Grand Hall, the Dome Hall and the Holy Crown from 10.00 to 17.00. Preliminary registration is not required, the admission is free for all visitors.

For those who love poetry here is a famous poem of March 15:

On the 15th of March in 1848, the young Hungarian poet, Sándor Petőfi recited the following poem from the stairs of the Hungarian National Museum for thousands of people in pouring rain in the heart of Pest. Petőfi’s passionate recitation marked the beginning of the revolution that grew into a war for independence from Habsburg rule.

Sándor Petőfi: National Song

On your feet now, Hungary calls you!
Now is the moment, nothing stalls you,
Shall we be slaves or men set free
That is the question, answer me!
By all the gods of Hungary
We hereby swear,
That we the yoke of slavery
No more shall wear.

Slaves we have been to this hour,
Our forefathers who fell from power
Fell free and lived as free men will,
On land that was their own to till,
By all the gods of Hungary
We hereby swear,
That we the yoke of slavery
No more shall wear.

Whoever now his life begrudges
Deserves his death with thieves and drudges,
For setting his own worthless hide
Above his country’s need and pride.
By all the gods of Hungary
We hereby swear,
That we the yoke of slavery
No more shall wear.

The sword shines brighter than the fetters
It is the finery of our betters,
Of slaves and fetters we grow bored.
Leap to my side, ancestral sword.
By all the gods of Hungary
We hereby swear,
That we the yoke of slavery
No more shall wear.

Magyars, once more our name and story
Shall match our ancestors’ in glory
The centuries of shame and hurt
Can now be washed away like dirt.
By all the gods of Hungary
We hereby swear,
That we the yoke of slavery
No more shall wear.

And wheresoever we may perish
Grandchildren those graves shall cherish
Singing our praises in their prayers
To thank us that our names are theirs.
By all the gods of Hungary
We hereby swear,
That we the yoke of slavery
No more shall wear.

(by Szirtes, George)

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