The fascination of Hungarian Christmas Traditions
Tourists visiting Hungary for Christmas celebrations are usually amazed by how the country has been able to keep most of its Hungarian Christmas traditions like the observation of advent; this tradition has been known to be in existence since the pre-Christian years. It usually symbolizes the awaiting of Jesus Christ. The celebrations usually begin during the evening of Christmas Eve which is known as ‘Scent-Este’ that means ‘The Holy Evening’ by decorating a Christmas pine tree and spending time with family and friends.
Santa Claus is replaced by St. Nicholas in the Hungarian Christmas traditions; he usually travels from the North Pole and arrives on December 6th to give gifts like fruits and candy to the children who were well behaved while leaving twigs as presents to the naughty children. As per the Hungarian Christmas traditions, the children as allowed to write down wishes that are pasted on the walls for St. Nicholas to see. But some of the folk Hungarian Christmas traditions have vanished in the past few decades; one of them included the day of Luca that was predicted as the day of love, the Bethlehem play which included a wonderful script of the birth of Jesus; and the visiting form one household to another by small boys in costumes carrying an artificial figure of the Holy Family.
The Hungarian Christmas traditions do not condone any Christmas parties since 1000 BC but encourage the getting together of families who abide the tradition of keeping the Christmas tree a surprise to the children who believe that the angels ascend with it from heaven. Children are only allowed to see the Christmas tree after the ringing of the tree bells and they retrieve their gifts that have labels containing their names. To mark the birth of Jesus as per the Hungarian Christmas traditions, carols and hymns are sung to praise him.
The Hungarian Christmas traditions are then marked by a midnight mass on Christmas Eve whereby plays are performed, then immediately families surround the tree in their households while singing carols and opening presents left to them by St. Nicholas who is depicted as one of the angels by the children.