Hungarian Culture Day

Hungarian Culture’s Day has been celebrated since 1989, in memory of the manuscript in which Ferenc Kölcsey clarified the Anthem in 1823 in Szatmárcseken on this day.

On 22nd of January in 1823 Ferenc Kölcsey clarified the manuscript of the Hymn as part of a larger package of manuscripts, in which he continually put his poems’ not final versions, but clarifications, sometimes with corrections.


This package disappeared sometime in the late 1830s and began its’ latent journey for over a hundred years. After Ferenc Kölcsey’s death in 1838, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences started a negotiation with his sister-in-law, called Ádámné Kölcsey Josephine Szuhány for the reason of purchasing the manuscripts, as Ferenc Kölcsey left them for his nephew. In the end, the package of manuscripts did not become the property of the Academy, but remained the property of the family, and due to various descendants and inheritance, it finally came to Magda László.

It is unknown how the documents went from Magda László to Magda Szenes, and it is not impossible either that the two ladies were one and the same. It is a fact that in 1946, December the National Széchenyi Library purchased it from Magda Szenes.

Kölcsey wrote the Anthem on two pages and the damage that appears on both foils is not a flame burn, but an ink mill. It was not caused by Kölcsey’s ink, according to restoration experts at the National Széchenyi Library, acid ink was spilled on the edge of the paper. 

The manuscript and Erkel’s music for the National Anthem can be viewed at the National Széchenyi Library.

Throughout the country, Hungarian Culture’s Day is celebrated with awards, literary evenings, book presentations and art exhibitions.