Budapest Travel Blog› entry 3 of 12 › view all entries
December 24th, 2009 – by: breezejen
We started the day at the Vaci Utca to walk around and visit with relatives. The Vaci Utca is one of the main shopping areas in the city and at the end is the Vorosmoty Square, where the Christmas Fair is being held. We got there a little late as everything was winding down, people wanted to get home to be with there families and start on the Christmas festivities.
We did, however, take a while at Gerbaud’s, the famous café. One of the highlights of the Christmas Fair is the Advent Calendar display at Gerbaud’s.
In Hungary, the preparations of the day are very traditional. Desserts are set out consisting of tiny little cakes and pastries which can be snacked on throughout the day. Wine and alcohol also starts flowing. At around 3 o’clock, the tree is brought into the house and decorated by the males in the family. The females are in the kitchen preparing the Christmas meal and depending on the size of the meal, start rather early in the morning.
Right before dinner, the tree is revealed and presents are given out. What I liked most about the Christmas tree is that there are lit candles and sparklers on them. Seems like a fire hazard to me, but those Hungarian like to live on the edge (as long as there is a fire extinguisher handy). Another thing about the tradition is that the presents are not wrapped, just a small card designating who the present belongs to. This eliminates all the extraneous paper waste. Good idea to me.
The traditional Hungarian Christmas meal consists of fish soup, there is no meat served in preparation for Christmas day.
After dinner, the rest of the night is spent being with family, watching the kids enjoy their gifts, snaking on the little desserts and drinking more wine and palinka.
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