The 20th of August is Hungary’s version of the 4th of July. Their first King, Istvan, established Hungary on the 20th of August and it’s Hungary’s national day. There are lots of celebrations, of course. Most of them we actually missed because we kept showing up after the excitement was over or two blocks away from where everything was, but we got to see some excitement anyway.
We went to the Városliget, or city park in the early afternoon for a picnic lunch. There was supposed to be a bread festival there, but we didn’t see any of it really. The park was pretty though, and they just finished some construction a few months ago, so the ponds were all filled in and pretty again.
Later in the day we headed to Kossuth Tér where all the rest of the action was supposed to be. We saw a few things set up but apparently most of the booths and things were down by the river. There was a craft fair up on Castle Hill as well that we might have to go see next year. There was a changing of the guard at Kossuth Tér, though and we got to see them pull the guards in from the front of Parliament. Parliament itself was all decked out and in Hungarian colors and was very impressive I thought.
Afterward we went up to a friend’s house to watch the fireworks. They have a house up in the hills in Buda with a nice view of the city and the fireworks. The city does fireworks every year and they do them in four sets. Two at least are set off from two of the bridges over the Danube between Buda and Pest. I couldn’t tell if the other two sets were also from bridges or if one set was from a hill and another from somewhere else, but it’s a really good fireworks show. All the sets are the same show, just set off from different locations. Unfortunately my camera is too small to take decent pictures of the city from our friend’s house. Budapest at night is a stunning view, but I’m afraid the best representation I have to offer you is this: