March 15th is a national holiday in Hungary, commemorating the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. The holiday is celebrated all over the country, with the profession of the Hussars from the Hungarian National Museum to the Buda Castle, dance and music programs, and other interesting events. This is the date when you can visit free of charge the Budapest History Museum, the National Gallery, the National Archive and the Military History Museum, and, if you want to see the Hungarian Holy Crown and the Crown Jewels, they will be on display, for everyone to see (yes, free of charge) at the Hungarian Parliament.
Although not a Hungarian tradition per se, the Hungarian Macaron Day has been received with a lot of interest by the residents of Budapest. The festival was inspired by the French Jour du Macaron, which will also be held March 20, in Paris. The Macaron Day this year takes place at the Akvárium Klub (Erzsébet tér 12). Entrance is free, but you will have to pay to sample the delicious treats. The programme includes plenty activities for kids, a Macaron Fare, competitions, and even cooking classes.
Another tradition borrowed from abroad is the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade. Budapest celebrates this event only since 2011, but the parade attracts more and more enthusiasts every year. Some of the venues where you can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 with the locals include the Guinness House, Caledonia, and the Irish Cat Pub. The parade, organized by the Irish Hungarian Business Circle, will he held March 22, at 14:00. The parade starts at Szabadság tér and it will finish at Instant.
Don’t miss Kézműves Magyar Ízek Vására on March 27, the Flavors of Hungary Gastro Fair, for good cuisine, typical foods, homegrown Hungarian produce, and traditional Hungarian recipes. Over 150 different vendors from all historic regions of Hungary will exhibit at Erzsébet tér, offering the best of Hungarian food and flavors. There will also be a kid’s corner, arts and crafts workshops, and other entertaining events.
Another important event of the spring is the Budapest Spring Festival (Budapesti Tavaszi Fesztivál), which begins April 10, and will last till April 26, 2015. It is a cultural festival, featuring musical performances, theater, and art exhibitions. Several venues across Budapest will participate, with more than 50 events to choose from, including the premier of Aida at the Budapest Opera. Don’t miss the Hungarian Wedding Feast at the Papp László Sport Arena on April 24.
Another interesting celebration is Budapest 100, which celebrates and highlights the 100-year old buildings in the city. Residential houses, schools, museums, and other landmarks, which are usually closed to the public, open their doors this year, to mark their centenary. The Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre offers free, guided tours in every district that’s part of the event: book in advance on the official website of the event.
Finally, the Cherry Blossom Festival (Sakura Festival) in Budapest promises to be as spectacular this year, as always. The Fűvészkert Botanical Garden, Hungary’s oldest botanical garden, marks the event the second weekend of April. Guests of the festival will enjoy authentic Japanese teas, origami and calligraphy exhibitions, programs for kids, and more.
There will be many other interesting things to do and see in Budapest this year. Follow us on Facebook, and we will keep you up to date.