Culture of Hungary

(Redirected from Sport in Hungary)

Hungarian culture is characterised by its distinctive cuisine, folk traditions, poetry, theatre, religious customs, music and traditional embroidered garments. Hungarian folklore traditions include tales, music, dance, decorated pottery, carvings and embroidery. Historically, Hungarian music has largely consisted of folk music and classical and baroque pieces.[1] Hungary is at the south-eastern border of Central Europe and shares cultural similarities with neighbouring countries in the Balkans.[2][3] Noted Hungarian authors include Sándor Márai, Imre Kertész, Péter Esterházy, Magda Szabó and János Kodolányi. Imre Kertész is particularly noteworthy for having won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2002.

The Matthias Church in Budapest
Hungarian women walking whilst holding prayer books (1940)
Hungarian folk dance group in traditional clothing

Music edit

Franz Liszt in Thuringia

Hungarian folk music is a prominent part of the national identity and continues to play a major part in the country’s music. Prominent Hungarian composers include Franz Liszt, Franz Schmidt, Ernő Dohnányi, Béla Bartók, Zoltán Kodály, György Ligeti and Miklós Rózsa. Traditional Hungarian music tends to have a strong dactylic rhythm due to the Hungarian language consistently putting stress on the first syllable of each word. Hungary has a number of internationally known composers of contemporary classical music, including György Kurtág, Péter Eötvös and Zoltán Jeney, among others.

Franz Liszt spoke no Hungarian until 1870, when he started to learn the language, but clearly identified himself as Hungarian and founded the Academy of Music. Béla Bartók was also born in the former Kingdom of Hungary. György Ligeti was born in Transylvania, after its transfer to Romania. Both György Ligeti and Béla Bartók studied at the Liszt Academy before moving abroad, where a large portion of their work was written.

Béla Bartók
Ferenc Liszt

Broughton claims that Hungary's "infectious sound has been surprisingly influential on neighbouring countries (thanks perhaps to the common Austro-Hungarian history) and it's not uncommon to hear Hungarian-sounding tunes in Romania, and Slovakia.[4] The Busójárás carnival in Mohács is a major Hungarian folk music event, formerly featuring the long-established and well-regarded Bogyiszló orchestra.[5]

Hungarian classical music has long been an "experiment, made from Hungarian antedecents[clarification needed] and on Hungarian soil, to create a conscious musical culture [using the] musical world of the folk song".[6] Although the Hungarian upper class has long had cultural and political connections with the rest of Europe, leading to an influx of European musical ideas, the rural peasants maintained their own traditions, so that by the end of the 19th century Hungarian composers could draw on rural peasant music to (re)create a Hungarian classical style.[7] For example, Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály, two of Hungary's most famous composers, are known for using folk themes in their music. Bartók collected folk songs from across Central Europe, including Romania and Slovakia, whilst Kodály was more interested in creating a distinctively Hungarian musical style.

During the era of Communist rule in Hungary (1944–1989), a Song Committee examined and censored popular music for traces of subversion and ideological impurity. Since then, however, the Hungarian music industry has begun to recover, producing successful performers in the fields of jazz such as trumpeter Rudolf Tomsits, pianist-composer Károly Binder, and in a modernized form of Hungarian folk, Ferenc Sebő and Márta Sebestyén. Hungary has had several popular rock bands such as Illés, Metró, or Omega, of which Omega has remained relevant to the present with small foreign followings in Germany and elsewhere. Veteran underground bands from the 1980s such as Beatrice also remain popular.

Architecture edit

Hungary is home to:

Literature edit

Ferenc Kölcsey, author of the lyrics of the Hungarian national anthem.
The oldest surviving Hungarian (and Uralic) poem, Old Hungarian Laments of Mary

In earliest times, the Hungarian language was written in a runic-like script (Hungarian: Rovásírás). The country switched to the Latin alphabet after being Christianized under the reign of Stephen I of Hungary (1000–1038). There are no existing documents from before the 11th century.

The oldest written record in Hungarian is a fragment in the Establishing charter of the abbey of Tihany (1055) which, while mostly written in Latin, contains several Hungarian terms, among them the words feheruuaru rea meneh hodu utu rea, "up the military road to Fehérvár". The oldest complete text is the Funeral Sermon and Prayer (Halotti beszéd és könyörgés) (1192–1195), a translation of a Latin sermon. The oldest poem is the Old Hungarian Laments of Mary (Ómagyar Mária-siralom), also a translation from Latin, albeit a flawed one, from the 13th century. It is also the oldest surviving Uralic poem.

Among the first chronicles of Hungarian history were Gesta Hungarorum ("Deeds of the Hungarians") by the unknown author usually called Anonymus , and Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum ("Deeds of the Huns and the Hungarians") by Simon Kézai, both written in Latin. These chronicles are a blend of history and legends, so they are not always historically accurate. Another chronicle is the Képes krónika (Illustrated Chronicle), which was written for Louis the Great.

Renaissance literature flourished under the reign of king Matthias Corvinus (1458–1490). Janus Pannonius—even though he wrote in Latin—is considered one of the most important writers in Hungarian literature; he was also the only significant Hungarian Humanist poet of the period. The first printing house was founded during Matthias' reign by András Hess in Buda. The first book printed in Hungary was the Chronica Hungarorum.

Matthias Corvinus' library, the Bibliotheca Corviniana, was among Europe's greatest collections of secular historical chronicles and philosophical and scientific works in the 15th century. In 1489, Bartolomeo della Fonte of Florence wrote that Lorenzo de Medici had founded his own Greek-Latin library after being inspired by the example of the Hungarian king. Matthias Corvinus' library is now part of UNESCO World Heritage. Two other important figures of the Hungarian Renaissance are poets Bálint Balassi and Sebestyén Tinódi Lantos.

The most important poets of the period following the reign of King Matthias were Bálint Balassi (1554–1594) and Miklós Zrínyi (1620–1664). Balassi's poetry, reflecting medieval influences, can be divided into three groups: love poems, war poems, and religious poems. Zrínyi's most significant work, the epic Szigeti veszedelem ("Peril of Sziget", 1648–49) is written in a fashion similar to the Iliad. In the poem Zrínyi recounts the heroic Battle of Szigetvár where his great-grandfather died while defending the castle of Szigetvár. Among religious works, the most important is the Bible translation by Gáspár Károli, the Protestant pastor of Gönc, which was completed in 1590. This translation is called the Bible of Vizsoly after the town where it was first published. (See Hungarian Bible translations for more details.)

The Hungarian enlightenment followed about fifty years after the Western European enlightenment, reaching Hungary through Vienna. The first writers of the Hungarian enlightenment were, among others, Maria Theresa's bodyguards György Bessenyei and János Batsányi. The greatest poets of this period were Mihály Csokonai Vitéz and Dániel Berzsenyi. The enlightenment prompted a reform of the Hungarian language. The greatest figure in this reform was Ferenc Kazinczy. Beginning at that time, Hungarian became useful for scientific writing, and many words were coined to name new inventions.

Hungarian literature has recently gained renown outside the borders of Hungary, mostly through German, French and English translations. Some modern Hungarian authors have become popular in Germany and Italy, especially Sándor Márai, Péter Esterházy, Péter Nádas, and Imre Kertész. Kertész is a contemporary Jewish writer and Holocaust survivor who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2002.

The classics of Hungarian literature have remained largely unknown outside Hungary. János Arany, a famous 19th-century poet, is still much loved in Hungary, especially his collection of ballads. Arany is among several other "true classics" including Sándor Petőfi, the poet of the Revolution of 1848, Endre Ady, Mihály Babits, Dezső Kosztolányi, Attila József, and János Pilinszky. Other Hungarian authors are Ferenc Móra, Géza Gárdonyi, Zsigmond Móricz, Gyula Illyés, Albert Wass, and Magda Szabó. Vilmos Kondor has created a new trend in recent years, and is mentioned as the creator of Hungarian noir (see Budapest Noir).

Film edit

Many Hungarians have contributed to film art and its technology, but, due to political reasons, many of them found it was easier to find success abroad. As of 2018, Hungarians working in Hollywood and some in Hungary had received more than 150 Academy Award nominations and about 46 Academy Awards. Already in the 1930s there were 17 Hungarian nominations, but the peak was in the decade of the 1940s when about 51 nominations and 13 to 15 Academy Awards were given to exiled Hungarians. The best year was 1944 with 9 to 10 nominations and four (Michael Curtiz, Paul Lukas, George Pal, and William S. Darling) Academy Awards. The first Hungarian to be nominated was Lajos Bíró (1929) and the first to win the award was William S. Darling (1933). Art Direction might be the most successful category concerning wins/nominations: Paul Groesse 3/11, William S. Darling 3/7, Joseph Kish 1/5, Vincent Korda 1/4, Alexandre Trauner 1/2 and Marcel Vertès 1/1. The number of nominees and awards in all categories, exceeds all other nations, counted per capita.

Hungarians emigrated in large numbers after several disasters following the First World War (1918) when neighbouring countries—Romania, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia—occupied parts of the former Kingdom of Hungary, which lost two-thirds of its territory in a 1920 treaty. There was a brief communist takeover accompanied by a so-called ″red terror″ and then a reaction against it called the ″white terror″, which disrupted the economy. At that time Hungarian filmmakers tried their fortunes abroad, first, as did Géza von Bolváry, in the German-speaking world and later in the English-speaking world. Film with sound was invented (1918) in Germany by Dénes Mihály. Béla Gáspár invented, 1932, the first full color one-strip film: Gasparcolor patented in 1933. With the advent of racial laws in 1939, Jewish citizens were forced to leave the country to find work. It is ironic that some of the most successful propaganda films during the Second World War for both sides were directed by Hungarians: Münchhausen by Josef von Báky and "Pimpernel" Smith by Leslie Howard. With another, longer-lasting, communist takeover in 1948, more Hungarians left. After the crushed 1956 revolution, more important filmmakers left, including Vilmos Zsigmond, László Kovács, Jean Badal and Peter Medak. Following the amnesty of 1960, the cultural climate eased somewhat.

Nevertheless, despite the hardships of staying at home, some Hungarians received Academy Award nominations (21 times for 24 people up to 2018) and in some cases the actual Award (Ferenc Rofusz (1980), István Szabó (1981), Zsuzsa Böszörményi (1991) and co-winners Jászberényi, Perlaki and Priskin (2010), and co-winners Imre Major and Csaba Kőhegyi in 2014. The first Hungarian to be nominated from Hungary was Tamás Czigány,[8] for best short documentary in 1967.

The best-known Hungarian film to date is Mephisto, by István Szabó. It won an Academy Award in the category Best Foreign Language film. The year before, in 1980, The Fly, an animation by Rofusz, became the very first Hungarian film to receive an Academy Award. The Foreign Student Academy Award went to Zsuzsa Böszörményi (1991). In 2010 the trio Márk Jászberényi, Tamás Perlaki and Gyula Priskin obtained the scientific and engineering award for Lustre, a software program to color-correct intermediates[clarification needed] in real time, first used on The Lord of the Rings. In 2014, the same prize went to three Hungarians, Tibor Madjar,[9] Imre Major and Csaba Kőhegyi. Up to 2018, ten films have been nominated in the category Best Foreign Language Film: four nominations to István Szabó (the most nominated person in Hungary), two to Zoltán Fábri (1969, 1979) and one each to Imre Gyöngyössy, Barna Kabay and Károly Makk, and On Body and Soul (2018). Three films have been nominated for Best Short Animation (Marcell Jankovics, Ferenc Rófusz and Géza M. Tóth). Cinematographer Lajos Koltai has been nominated for best cinematography in 2000. In 2016, Son of Saul won the second Best Foreign Language Film AA for Hungary. In 2017 Hungary won the best short feature category with Mindenki. In 2018, Hungary got its 10th nomination in the category Best Foreign Language Film for On Body and Soul by Ildikó Enyedi. The most successful film around 2019 is Eternal Winter by Atilla Szász. Those Who Remained was shortlisted for Best Foreign film 2020.

Famous Hungarians in the film industry edit

Hollywood edit

Cinematographers László Kovacs ASC, Andrew László ASC. Andrew Marton directed the chariot race in Ben-Hur for which he won a Golden Globe. Joe Eszterhas wrote Basic Instinct and became the highest-paid writer in Hollywood history. He also wrote the Berlin Golden Bear winner "Music Box" and the first Hungarian "blockbuster", Children of Glory. Zoltan Elek won AA-award (1986) for make-up. Actors of Hungarian origin are Peter Lorre, Paul Newman (10 AA nominations: 59, 62, 64, 68–69, 82–83, 86–87, 95, 99 and 2003)/one win 87 plus one honorary award 86 and 99 win), Tony Curtis (1 AA nomination), Johnny Weissmüller (Tarzan) and Béla Lugosi (Dracula), Franciska Gaal, Ilona Massey, Zsa Zsa Gabor. Hedy Lamarr was half-Hungarian as was Ali MacGraw nominated (71) (Love Story), Adrien Brody (1 AA), Goldie Hawn (1 AA), Marton Csokas and Isabelle Huppert, one nomination (2017).

Great Britain edit

Germany edit

Israel edit

Ephraim Kishon (b. Ferenc Hoffmann) was Israel's first nominee for best foreign-language film. He got two nominations (1964, 1972).

Czechoslovakia edit

Ján Kadár (b. János Kadár) won the first AA for Czechoslovakia (1965).

Canada edit

Paul Sarossy is active often as Atom Egoyan's cinematographer.

Hungary edit

Some years after the failed revolution of 1956 against the Soviet-dominated communist dictatorship, the cultural climate eased slightly; this led to more creative freedom. Important films in the 1960s were directed by István Gaál: (The Falcons), András Kovács: Hideg Napok (1966), Miklós Jancsó: The Round-Up (1965) (Screenplay: Hernádi Gyula, DOP: Tamás Somló), and István Szabó (The Father). Márton Keleti directed: Franz Liszt: Dreams of Love. (1970) filmed in 70 mm by István Hildebrandt. Other important filmmakers Sándor Pál, Márta Mészáros (Adoption Golden Bear Berlin 1975), Péter Gothár (Golden Lion, Venice): Time Stands Still (Cannes: Award of the Youth, 1982) (1982). Sunshine and Children of Glory are successful bigger budget movies about Hungary's turbulent past. Recent successful films include: János Szász: (Witman fiúk, DOP: Tibor Máthé 1997), György Pálfi: Hukkle (2002), (Taxidermia) (2006). The first super-studio in Hungary was Korda Studios. The next was Raleigh Studios, Budapest. Partly because of this[because of what?] an increasing number of foreign films, mainly with larger budgets, have been shot in Hungary in recent years, especially in Budapest. Budapest has been nicknamed "Hollywood on the Danube" because it is arguably now the most Hollywood-populated[clarification needed] place outside the U.S.[citation needed] Steven Spielberg's Munich was also partly shot in Budapest. Most of Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy II was shot in Hungary. Altogether 47 foreign films were shot in Hungary in 2008, and 52 in 2009. In comparison, about 20 to 30 Hungarian movies are made annually.

Art movies edit

Hungarians were major pioneers in cinema both in Europe (e.g. Alexander Korda) and in the United States, and they have entered to the formation[clarification needed] of the art movie.

István Szőts People of the Mountains won the Venice Biennale in 1942, then Géza Radványi Somewhere in Europe influenced the emerging neorealism.

After World War II the greatest Hungarian film director was Miklós Jancsó who won the first two international film prizes:

  • The Round-Up (Szegénylegények), Locarno, FIPRESCI, 1965
  • Red Psalm ("Még kér a nép" Sándor Petőfi), Cannes, Best Director Award, 1971
  • Hungary won Crystal Globe 2016[10][circular reference]
  • Hungary won Prix Europa (Best European TV Movie or Mini-series of the Year) 2017: Memo[11]
  • Hungary won Prix Europa (Best European TV Movie or Mini-series of the Year) 2018: Eternal Winter by Attila Szász[12]
  • Main Prize at Braunschweig Int. Film Festival 2018: X by Ujj Mészáros
  • Main Prize at Berlin Int. Film Festival 2018: On Body and Soul by Ildikó Enyedi
  • Main Prize at Monte Carlo Int. Film Festival 2019: Bad Poems by Gábor Reisz
  • Main Prize at Tuburon Int. Film Festival(US) 2019: Eternal Winter, also: Best Director, Screenplay, Actress and Cinematography

Cuisine edit

A nicely prepared Hortobágyi palacsinta, served in Sopron
A slice from the Dobos Cake

Traditional dishes such as the world-famous Goulash (gulyás stew or gulyásleves soup) are popular. Dishes are often flavoured with paprika (ground red peppers), a Hungarian innovation.[13] Thick, heavy Hungarian sour cream called tejföl is often used to soften the dish's flavour. The famous Hungarian hot river fish soup called Fisherman's soup or halászlé is usually a rich mixture of several kinds of poached fish.

Other dishes include chicken paprikash, foie gras made of goose liver, pörkölt stew, vadas (game stew with vegetable gravy and dumplings), trout with almonds or salty and sweet dumplings, and túrós csusza, (dumplings with fresh quark cheese and thick sour cream). Desserts include the iconic Dobos Cake, Strudel (rétes), filled with apple, cherry, poppy seeds or cheese, Gundel pancake, plum dumplings (szilvás gombóc), somlói dumplings, dessert soups like chilled sour cherry soup, and sweet chestnut puree (gesztenyepüré) (cooked chestnuts mashed with sugar and rum, split into crumbs, and topped with whipped cream). Perec and kifli are widely popular pastries.

The csárda is the most distinctive type of Hungarian inn, an old-style tavern offering traditional cuisine and beverages. Borozó usually denotes a cozy old-fashioned wine tavern, pince is a beer or wine cellar, and a söröző is a pub offering draught beer and sometimes meals. The bisztró is an inexpensive restaurant often with self-service. The büfé is the cheapest place, although one may have to eat standing at a counter. Pastries, cake, and coffee are served at a cukrászda, while an eszpresszó is a cafeteria.

Alcoholic beverages edit

A cold bottle of Unicum

Pálinka: Pálinka is a fruit brandy, distilled from fruit grown in the orchards of the Great Hungarian Plain. It is a spirit native to Hungary, and comes in a variety of flavours including apricot (barack) and cherry (cseresznye). However, plum (szilva) is the most common flavour. Though many flavours are available, pálinka made of strawberries or walnut are considered to be a rare and expensive delicacy; variations also include pálinka sweetened with honey or fruit beds under the liquid.

Beer: Beer goes well with many traditional Hungarian dishes. The five main Hungarian breweries are Borsodi, Soproni, Arany Ászok, Kőbányai, and Dreher.

Wine: As Hugh Johnson says in The History of Wine, the territory of Hungary is ideal for wine-making. Since the fall of communism, there has been a renaissance of Hungarian wine-making. The choice of good wine is widening from year to year. The country can be divided to six wine regions, which include North-Transdanubia, Lake Balaton, South Pannonia, Duna-region or Alföld, Upper Hungary and Tokaj-Hegyalja. Hungarian wine regions offer a great variety of style, of which the main products of the country are elegant and full-bodied dry whites with good acidity, although complex sweet whites (Tokaj), elegant (Eger) and full-bodied robust reds (Villány and Szekszárd). The main varieties are Olaszrizling, Hárslevelű, Furmint, Pinot gris or Szürkebarát, Chardonnay (whites), Kékfrankos (or Blaufrankisch in German), Kadarka, Portugieser, Zweigelt, Cabernet sauvignon, Cabernet franc, and Merlot. The most famous wines from Hungary are Tokaji Aszú and Egri Bikavér.

Tokaji: Tokaji, meaning "of/from Tokaj", is used to label wines from the wine region of Tokaj-Hegyalja. Tokaji wine has received accolades from numerous great writers and composers including Beethoven, Liszt, Schubert, and Goethe; Joseph Haydn's favorite wine was a Tokaji. Louis XV and Frederick the Great tried to outdo one another in the excellence of the vintages they stocked, when they treated guests like Voltaire to some Tokaji. Napoleon III, the last Emperor of the French, ordered 30–40 barrels of Tokaji for the Court every year.[citation needed] Gustav III, King of Sweden, never had any other wine to drink.[citation needed] In Russia, customers included Peter the Great and Empress Elizabeth of Russia.

Zwack Unicum: For over 150 years, a blend of 40 Hungarian herbs has been used to create the liqueur Unicum. Unicum is a bitter, dark-coloured liqueur that can be drunk as an apéritif or after a meal; it is claimed that this helps the digestion. The recipe is held secret by the Zwack family.

Spa culture edit

Hungary is a land of thermal water. A passion for spa culture and Hungarian history have been connected from the very beginning.[citation needed] It has been shown that Hungarian spa culture is multicultural. The basis of this claim is architecture: Hungarian spas feature Roman, Greek, Turkish, and northern country architectural elements.[citation needed] Due to an advantageous geographical location, thermal water can be found with good quality and in great quantities on over 80% of Hungary's territory.

The Romans heralded the first age of the spa in Hungary; remains of their bath complexes are still to be seen in Óbuda. The spa culture was revived during the Turkish Invasion; the Turks used the thermal springs of Buda for the construction of a number of bathhouses, some of which are still functioning (such as Király Baths and Rudas Baths). In the 19th century, advances in deep drilling and medical science provided the springboard for a further leap in bathing culture. Grand spas such as Gellért Baths, Lukács Baths, Margaret Island, and Széchenyi Medicinal Bath are a reflection of this resurgence in popularity. About 1,500 thermal springs can be found in Hungary. About half of these are used for bathing.

The spa culture has a history of nearly 2,000 years in Budapest. Budapest has the richest supply of thermal water among the capitals of the world.[citation needed] There are about 450 public baths in Hungary. Nowadays the trend shows that bath operators are modernizing their facilities and expanding the services offered. A total of 50 of the 160[Inconsistent with the figure of 450] public baths are qualified as spas throughout the country. Services are offered for healing purposes. These spas provide every type of balneal and physical therapy.[14][15]

The wine-growing terroir of Egerszalók edit

The spa at Egerszalók is noted for its position in one of the principal wine-growing regions of Hungary. Egerszalók is also notable for human-caused geological morphology: when the spa was expanded by the government in 1961, the flow of supersaturated mineral water sharply increased, leading to the deposition of a hillside of shining white travertine.

The thermal lake of Hévíz edit

Lake Hévíz

Lake Hévíz is the largest biologically active, natural thermal lake in the world.[citation needed] The oldest and most well-known bath of Hungary, in accordance with records from the Roman era, has a history of 2,000 years. The Hévíz treatment, in its present sense, also dates back more than 200 years.

The 4.4 ha (11 acre) lake is fed by its spring rushing up at a depth of 38 m, containing sulphur, radium, and minerals. Due to the high water output of the spring, the water of the lake is completely changed within 48 hours. The water of the lake is equally rich in dissolved substances and gases, combining the favourable effects of naturally carbonated medicinal waters and those containing sulphur, calcium, magnesium, hydrogen-carbonate, as well as those with a slightly radioactive content. The medicinal Hévíz mud, which is unique of its kind, contains both organic and inorganic substances and the radium-salts and reduced sulphuric solutions in it represent special medicinal factors.[clarification needed] The temperature of the water is 23–25 °C in winter and 33–36 °C in summer.

Folk dance edit

  • Ugrós (Jumping dances): Old style dances dating back to the Middle Ages. Solo or couple dances accompanied by old style music, shepherd and other solo man's dances from Transylvania, and marching dances along with remnants of medieval weapon dances belong in this group.
  • Karikázó: a circle dance performed by only women, and accompanied by singing of folksongs.
  • Csárdás: New style dances developed in the 18th and 19th centuries, is the Hungarian name for the national dances, with Hungarian embroidered costumes and energetic music. From the men's intricate bootslapping dances to the ancient women's circle dances, Csárdás demonstrates the infectious exuberance of the Hungarian folk dancing still celebrated in the villages.
  • Verbunkos: a solo man's dance evolved from the recruiting performances of the Austro-Hungarian army.
  • The Legényes: It is a men's solo dance done by the ethnic Hungarian people living in the Kalotaszeg region of Transylvania. Although usually danced by young men, it can be also danced by older men. The dance is performed freestyle usually by one dancer at a time in front of the band. Women participate in the dance by standing in lines to the side and sing/shout verses while the men dance. Each lad does a number of points (dance phrases) typically 4 to 8 without repetition. Each point consists of 4 parts, each lasting 4 counts. The first part is usually the same for everyone (there are only a few variations).

Embroidery edit

A vőfély in traditional costume, c. 1885

It was in the beginning of the 18th century that the present style of Hungarian folk art took shape, incorporating both Renaissance and Baroque elements, depending on the area, as well as Persian Sassanide influences. Flowers and leaves, sometimes a bird or a spiral ornament, are the principal decorative themes. The most frequent ornament is a flower with a centerpiece resembling the eye of a peacock's feather.

Nearly all the manifestations of folk art practiced elsewhere in Europe, also flourished among the Magyar peasantry at one time or another, their ceramics and textile being the most highly developed of all.

The finest achievements in their textile arts are the embroideries which vary from region to region. Those of Kalotaszeg in Transylvania are charming products of Oriental design, sewn chiefly in a single color - red, blue, or black. Soft in line, the embroideries are applied on altar cloths, pillow cases and sheets.

In Hungary, proper Sárköz (a historical area in Tolna) in Transdanubia and the Matyóföld in the Great Hungarian Plain produce the finest embroideries. In the Sárköz region, the women's caps show black and white designs as delicate as lace and give evidence of the people's wonderfully subtle artistic feeling. The embroidery motifs applied to women's wear have also been transposed to tablecloths and runners suitable for modern use as wall decorations.

Folk costumes (17th–19th centuries) edit


Ceramics edit

Black pottery edit

These vessels, made of black clay, reflect more than three hundred years of traditional Transdanubian folk patterns and shapes. No two are precisely alike, since all work is done by hand, including both the shaping and the decorating. The imprints are made by the thumb or a finger of the ceramist who makes the piece.

Herend Porcelain edit

Founded in 1826, Herend Porcelain is one of the world's largest ceramic factories, specializing in luxury hand painted and gilded porcelain. In the mid-19th century, it was purveyor to the Habsburg Dynasty and aristocratic customers throughout Europe. Many of its classic patterns are still in production. After the fall of communism in Hungary, the factory was privatized and is now 75% owned by its management and workers, exporting to over 60 countries of the world.[17]

Hungarian domestic animals edit

There are specifically Hungarian breeds of domestic animals which are seen as national symbols in Hungary:

  • Long-horn Hungarian Grey Cattle - Hungarian breed, traditionally kept in the open full year. Nowadays, they are raised for infant food due to natural, healthy meat.
  • Dogs
    A female Vizsla
  • Hungarian thoroughbred horses - a mid-19th century mixture of the best Arab and English racehorse characteristics.
  • Mangalica, a breed of pig, with long curly hair and relatively fatty meat, which makes them ideal for making sausages and salami.

Sport edit

Only seven countries (USA, USSR, UK, France, Italy, China, and Germany) have won more Summer Olympic gold medals than Hungary. Hungary has the second most Olympic gold medals per capita in the Summer Olympics. Hungary has the ninth highest, out of 211 participating nations, all-time total medal count for the Olympic Games, with a total of 465 medals. This despite the fact that Hungary was punished and barred from participation in the 1920 and 1984 Olympics. In the Summer Olympics, Hungary was always been among the top 10 best nations (in gold medal count) between 1928 and 1996, when they were allowed to compete. Hungary had the third most gold medals in 1936, 1952, 1956, and 1960. See: All-time Olympic Games medal table (2008 data)

Among the most famous Hungarians is footballer Ferenc Puskás (1927–2006). He scored 84 goals in 85 internationals for Hungary, and 511 goals in 533 matches in the Hungarian and Spanish leagues. Puskás played in the 1954 FIFA World Cup Final against West Germany. In 1958, after the Hungarian Revolution, he emigrated to Spain, where he played on the legendary Real Madrid team that also included Alfredo Di Stéfano and Francisco Gento.

Hungarians are also known for their prowess at water sports, mainly swimming, water polo (See: Water polo at the Summer Olympics) (in which they defeated the Soviet team in 1956), and canoeing (they have won multiple medals). Krisztina Egerszegi is one of the greatest Hungarian Olympic champions of the modern era. She is a three-time Olympian (1988, 1992 and 1996) and five time Olympic champion in swimming; and one of three individuals to have ever won the same swimming event at three consecutive Summer Olympics. She is currently also the only female swimmer who won five individual Olympic gold medals.[18][19][20] As a player, till date Dezső Gyarmati (1927–2013) is the first and only athlete (man or woman) to win five Olympic medals in water polo: three gold, one silver and one bronze.[21][22] As a head coach, he guided the Hungary men's national water polo team to three Olympic medals: one gold, one silver and one bronze,[21][22] making him one of the most successful water polo coaches in Olympic history, and the only man to win Olympic gold in water polo as player and head coach in the last 100 years. In 2013, FINA described him as a "legendary water polo player and coach", and "one of the best players the game ever seen and in fact the most decorated in history".[21]

Despite being landlocked, the presence of two major rivers (the Duna and the Tisza) and a major lake (Balaton), provide excellent opportunities to practice water sports. In recent years there has also been a steady rise in the number of golfers in the country; the sport has developed much over the past 20 years (after the fall of Socialism), but the economic situation hinders further development of golf courses.

Some of the world's best sabre fencing athletes have historically hailed from Hungary.

Hungary's national basketball team was one of Europe's major basketball forces from the mid-1940s until the mid-1960s when it won several medals at the European Basketball Championship and often qualified for the Summer Olympics. In the past decades, the team showed its potential less frequently. Its most famous player in recent decades has been Kornél Dávid.

The Hungarian national ice hockey team also qualified for their first IIHF World Championship in more than 70 years.

Games edit

Traditional toys are made from various plants, for example juglans (dió), nuts (mogyoró) or maize. "Erre csörög a dió, arra meg a mogyoró" is one of the most famous Magyar children's games.

Ulti is one of the most famous card games played by a 32-card set so-called: "Magyar kártya", exactly: "Tell-Karte" with German decks.

Button football is a tabletop game which is known in Europe, typically in Hungary.

The Rubik's Cube debuted in Hungary in 1977 and gained international fame.

Hungary has produced many top-level chess players, notably Judith Polgar and Peter Leko. The 45th Chess Olympiad is planned for Budapest in 2024.

Flag edit

An image portraying the Flag of Hungary

The flag of Hungary is a horizontal tricolour of red, white and green (red-white-green). This revised style was adopted on the 12th of October 1957 following the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.[23]

The colours of were used during the coronation of Matthias II in 1608. It is speculated that the colours and their relationship with the Hungarian monarchy date back to the 13th century.[24]

The colours of the flag are also present in the traditional Hungarian Coat of Arms. The red is thought to signify the various battles which Hungary has fought in, whilst the white and green denote Hungary's rivers and mountains respectively. [23]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Hungary - Daily life and social customs | Britannica". Retrieved 2022-11-14.
  2. ^ "Hungary's Growing Role in the Balkans". Hungary Today. 2019-07-01. Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  3. ^ Ács, Pál; Fodor, Pál, eds. (2020-08-10), Identity and Culture in Ottoman Hungary, De Gruyter, doi:10.1515/9783112209301, ISBN 978-3-11-220930-1, retrieved 2023-08-24
  4. ^ Szalipszki, pg.12
    Refers to the country as "widely considered" to be a "home of music".
  5. ^ Broughton, pg. 159-167
  6. ^ Szabolcsi, The Specific Conditions of Hungarian Musical Development
    "Every experiment, made from Hungarian antedecents[Not a word. Maybe "antecedents" is intended?] and on Hungarian soil, to create a conscious musical culture (music written by composers, as opposed to folk music), had instinctively or consciously striven to develop widely and universally the musical world of the folk song. Folk poetry and folk music were deeply embedded in the collective Hungarian people’s culture, and this unity did not cease to be effective even when it was given from and expression by individual creative artists, performers and poets."
  8. ^ "Tamás Czigány".
  9. ^ "Tibor Madjar". IMDb.
  10. ^ It's Not the Time of My Life
  11. ^ "István Tasnádi". Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Örök tél". IMDb.
  13. ^ "Sulinet: Magyar növény-e a paprika?". Archived from the original on 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2008-11-21.
  14. ^ "Mini guide to Budapest's spas". BBC. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  15. ^ Fallon, Steve. "A guide to Budapest's thermal baths". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  16. ^ Beynon, Erdmann D. (1927). "Isolated Racial Groups of Hungary". Geographical Review. 17 (4): 586–604. Bibcode:1927GeoRv..17..586B. doi:10.2307/207999. JSTOR 207999.
  17. ^ "Herend".
  18. ^ Krisztina Egerszegi.
  19. ^ Krisztina EGERSZEGI.
  20. ^ Egerszegi, Krisztina. (2004)
  21. ^ a b c "FINA in mourning - Water polo legend Dezso Gyarmati passed away". FINA. 19 August 2013. Archived from the original on 2020-06-21. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  22. ^ a b "Dezső Gyarmati". Olympedia. Archived from the original on 2020-06-03. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  23. ^ a b "flag of Hungary | Britannica". Retrieved 2022-11-14.
  24. ^ Kovács, Zsóka (2017-09-02). "No ke aha ke kala o ka hae Hungarian ʻulaʻula-keʻokeʻo-'ōmaʻomaʻo?". Daily News Hungary. Retrieved 2022-11-14.

External links edit


  1. ^ "Copyright: Connections Between Elite Culture and Mass Culture in Hungary". Acta Historica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae. 33: 91–92. 1987.