BÚÉK! New Year in Hungary

This post is in 2 languages. Please consider, the English part is not a translation, but rather an explanation.


December 31. Szilveszter napja. A barátok a szilveszteri buliban találkoznak és itt köszöntik az Újévet. Persze sokan – főképp a családosok – otthon maradnak. Én is otthon leszek a férjemmel és a gyerekkel! 🙂







A tipikus magyar Szilveszter:

  • díszítés: a buli helyszínét szerpentinnel díszítik, esetleg konfettit is dobálnak;
  • minden vendég hoz valamit a buliba: sós süteményt, italt (rostos üdítőt, pezsgőt);
  • éjfélkor koccintanak, eléneklik a magyar himnuszt;
  • megnézik a tűzijátékot;
  • éjfél után virslit esznek;
  • szilveszteri buli hajnalig! esetleg a tv-ben kabarét néznek 🙂
  • másnap lencsét esznek (lencsefőzeléket vagy lencseleveset).



Lássuk a szavakat!






sós sütemény











On December 31st we celebrate the nameday Szilveszter (namedays are important in Hungary! 🙂 ); hence the name Szilveszter that refers to the night of December 31st. Hungarians love this night to bits – just like other nations do!!! 🙂


You can as well call it ‘Újév’.

‘Új év’ means ‘new year’, but if written together, it refers to the night of celebration. It can be used interchangebly with Szilveszter, though in some cases it may sound a bit strange. The best is to use Szilveszter! 🙂



Let’s see some examples:

  • Hol töltöd a Szilvesztert / az Újévet? ( Where will you spend New Year’s Eve?)
  • Átjössz Szilveszterre? Átjössz megünnepelni az Újévet? (Will you come over for / to celebrate New Year’s Eve? The latter is more formal)
  • Hol leszel Szilveszterkor / Újévkor? (Where will you be on New Year’s Eve?



Hungarians usually turn on the telly (Channel 1) and listen to and sing along the hymn at midnight, holding their glass of champagne in their hands. Then they go round to cling their glasses with every member of the company saying ‘Boldog Új Évet!’ and then air kissing each other (left cheek first, then right). They don’t take even a sip of champagne before finishing (well, hopefully 🙂 ).



What can you SMS your friends?


Boldog Új Évet!

Boldog Új Évet Kívánok!



Egészségben és sikerekben gazdag Boldog Új Évet Kívánok!



(or use ‘kívánunk’ in the above sentences to say ‘we wish’ instead of ‘I wish’)

There are also lots of funny SMS texts out there, if you want me to look up some for you, just give me a shout 🙂


After midnight there are fireworks in each town centre and also at many houses that can bee seen through the windows. A bit later Hungarians eat hot-dog type sausages (frankfurters) with mustard and bread.


It is believed that January 1st is the day when you have to eat as much lentils as you can to be whealthy. Lentils symbolise money, and dinner made of them come in 2 forms this day: a soup or a dense vegetable dish (főzelék).


Most Hungarians eat sweet cookies and cakes at Christmas and salty crisps and cookies on Szilveszter (I guess, it has something to do with alcohol consumption 😀 ).


The above mentioned ‘kabaré’ is a television programme, a type of comedy captured live at the theatre in front of real applauding viewers, and then broadcasted for a wider audience.


Hungarians eat pork on the first day of the new year to find luck. (Malac means piglet)

Most just eat their frankfurters after midnight.


Újévi malac





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