Republic Day in Hungary in 2024

Republic Day in Hungary in 2024
  How long until Republic Day?
Republic Day
  Dates of Republic Day in Hungary
2025 Hungary Thu, Oct 23 National Holiday
2024 Hungary Wed, Oct 23 National Holiday
2023 Hungary Mon, Oct 23 National Holiday
2022 Hungary Sun, Oct 23 National Holiday
2021 Hungary Sat, Oct 23 National Holiday

The day of the 1956 uprising against the Soviet Union and the proclamation of the Third Hungarian Republic in 1989.

  Local name
Nemzeti ünnep

When is Hungarian Republic Day?

This public holiday in Hungary is always celebrated on October 23rd.

This day commemorates the anniversary of two key events in the history of modern Hungary that both happened on this day; the 1956 uprising against the Soviet Union and the creation of the Republic of Hungary in 1989.

History of Hungarian Republic Day

Following the end of the Second World War, Hungary had increasingly come under the control of their liberators from Germany, the Soviet Union.

Following democratic changes in Austria, some Hungarians had hoped for similar concessions in their country, but those hopes were quashed with the establishment of the Warsaw Pact in 1955, placing Hungary behind the so-called 'Iron Curtain'. Demanding democratic changes and the withdrawal of Soviet forces, Hungarian students held a demonstration in Budapest on October 23rd 1956. The demonstration drew popular support and the crowds grew and similar protests broke out across Hungary. This led to the Soviets deploying tanks on the streets of Budapest in an attempt to take back control. Violent rebellion then erupted in all parts of Hungary, with uprisings removing the local government. A new democratic government ousted the ruling communist party.

On October 28th the Soviets called for a cease-fire, withdrew their troops and pledged to re-establish free elections.

However, on November 3rd 1956, the Soviets changed their minds. The new government was arrested and within a week the Soviet military had crushed the rebels and the short-lived revolution was over.

While the revolution may not have been successful, it was still seen as a significant event that hardened international opinion against the more oppressive aspects of the Soviet Union.

On October 23rd 1989, a date chosen to honour the 1956 revolution, Hungarians proclaimed the Third Republic of Hungary, amending their constitution to permit multi-party politics, public assembly, and creating a separation of power in the government.

In October 1991, the National Assembly declared an official national celebration on October 23rd, as confirmed by the 2012 Basic Law.

How is Hungarian Republic Day Celebrated?

October 23rd is observed as a solemn national holiday in Hungary. The main celebrations begin on October 23rd with the ceremonial hoisting of the Hungarian national flag in front of the Parliament building at 9 a.m. This is followed by various programs in the afternoon, such as a keynote speech by the Prime Minister.

The iconic sign of this day is the Hungarian flag with a hole in the middle, symbolising the flags revolutionaries carried in 1956, after having cut out the Communist Rákósi coat of arms from the middle.

Apart from Christmas Day, most shops are open on public holidays in Hungary. Note that if the holiday falls on a Monday, museums, and art galleries will not be open as they are closed every Monday. Bars and restaurants will be open.  The Hungarian Parliament Building is free to enter on Republic day, which means it will be busier than normal.

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