A haza minden előtt! - Homeland above everything

The Hungarian Independence Day

There are a few important national holidays in Hungary - the 20th of August, which I could experience shortly after my arrival in Hungary, the 23rd of October where the whole team went to the Szentendre-Skanzen and the 15th of March - the day where, in 1848 on the steps of the National Museum in Budapest, the revolution was proclaimed.

The 15th of March is rooted especially deep in the Hungarian culture - todaay the names of the important poets and philosophers from that time are omnipresent on street signs, radio stations and schools. Everyone here knows who Petőfi Sándor and Kossuth Lajos were.

And every person you meet on the street, today, is wearing a small sticker with a rosette in the colours of the Hungarian flag, to bring this special day to mind.

A haza minden előtt - Homeland above everything

On national holidays the celebrations in the capital are the biggest and most important ones, of course. And while on the 20th of August the new officers of the army took their oath, the prime minister of Poland comes on the 15th of March to hold a speech, together with Orbán.

For this purpose every community of city of Hungary is allowed to send a small envoy to the capital to see the speeches live and at close quarters - and my team got tickets for these celebrations.

Thus we make our way to Budapest in the early morning, through police checks and barricades, to view a thrilling spectacle of dance, theatre and music, before the Polish and the Hungarian Prime Minister hold their speeches. And afterwards our feet carry us to the castle district where further celebrations keep the people in suspense.

Museum of Military History

Some of the museums can be visited for free, today, like on the other national holidays, too - including the Museum of Military History, on the other end of the castle district of Buda. Because none of us has visited the museum before, we decided to pop in and take a look at the exhibitions - even though I was quite reluctant at first.

Because what I kind of forgot is that military history starts before the First World War, and the Hungarians have - thanks to their Hussar regiments - an amazing collection of swords, sabres and other thrusting weapons on display in this museum.

That leads to me crawling out with the biggest grin after about two hours, because the museum has a few absolutely incredible pieces on display, including a few weapons I had only ever read about - and they were originals, not a replica.

To let the day come to an end we went to the Fono afterwards, a very good record label for world music that offered a public dance house for today with live music and everything.

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