Habits in Hungary
For Catholic Christians in Hungary, the highlight of Jesus’ birthday is attending the Christmas Mass at midnight on 24th of December or in daytime on 25th. Catholic families on 24th of December traditionally fast (called Christmas fast) and eat fasting dinners only on the evening. It was originally apple, walnut, honey and garlic, then buttered bean soup without meat and finally poppy dough. Over time this changed and nowadays people eat fishes and stuffed cabbage.
Christmas table in Hungary
According to folk tradition, the Christmas table played an important role during the holiday as there was a strict order for table and meals. They believed that the catches have been given with magical power. In the past, Christmas tablecloths were used as seeding cloths in the spring and the first cereal seeds were sown tp produce abundant crops. Cereal kernels were placed on the set table and given to the poultry to lay well, straw wa placed under the table in memory of Jesus was being born in a manger. Later this straw was placed under the livestock to to be healthy, but there were also some tied to fruit trees, hoping for a good harvest.
Christmas is the celebration of love
For non-religious but Christian culture, Christmas is usually a symbol of love and family togetherness. It has become a widespread tradition at Christmas to give gifts to our loved ones.
Nativity scene on Christmas Eve
In the past Nativity Scene was a well-known and widespread Christmas custom which was a multi-player dramatized game and is known throughout the country and in these days are still practised. The most important element of village Betlehem was the dialogue and singing of the Betlehem pastors. The main accessory to the Nativity was a temple shaped Nativity Scene featuring the Holy Family.