A family in Nyíregyháza

Last day Christmas preparations in Hungary

December 24, 2012

Hungarian families are busy on December 24 to decorate pine trees into Christmas trees to be ready by the evening with presents under it. In Hungary, Christmas is a two-day festive event (December 25 and 26) and is now less of a religious holiday but that of the family.

Pictured above is a family in Nyíregyháza, northeastern Hungary, decorating a pine tree into a Christmas tree on December 24. The evening of that day is the time for giving presents to each other. As in many other countries, pre-Christmas shopping accounts for a significant portion of sales in many shops.

Karácsony, the Hungarian word for Christmas is probably of ancient Slavic origin, means ‘turning day’ referring to the winter solstice, fitting into the pattern of Christian customs being built onto ancient traditions like the Roman festivities of Saturnalia celebrated around this time of the year.


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