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Books, Films, Events on the Day of Hungarian Culture

Hungary Today 2024.01.22.

The Day of Hungarian Culture is celebrated on January 22. This was the date when Ferenc Kölcsey (poet, 1790-1838) wrote the revised manuscript of the Hungarian National Anthem in 1823. To mark the occasion, the Oeconomus Economic Research Foundation has published a survey of Hungarian cultural consumption habits.

The outbreak of the COVID pandemic put cultural institutions, including theaters and museums, in a difficult situation. At the same time, publishing was booming in 2020, and this momentum has continued. Attendance in theaters and museums has recovered rapidly since the pandemic.

Hungary has a very high cultural expenditure as a share of GDP compared to other European countries.

The Hungarian government’s spending on culture has been among the top five EU Member States with the highest share since 2013. Hungary has been among the three Member States with the highest cultural spending since 2016, and Hungary has been in the top three since 2018.

The Hungarian National Museum. Photo via Facebook/Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum

The dynamic development of the sector is foreshadowed by the fact that two of the ten most visited exhibitions of all time at the Museum of Fine Arts took place in 2023. An exhibition of Renoir’s paintings had been visited by more than 200,000 people by December 2023, and the temporary exhibition was extended by two weeks. The exhibition celebrating the 170th anniversary of the birth of Csontváry also attracted more than 200,000 visitors.

Renoir Exhibition in Budapest Extremely Popular, with Nearly 200,000 Visitors
Renoir Exhibition in Budapest Extremely Popular, with Nearly 200,000 Visitors

The exhibition will be open on Christmas Day, between the two holidays, and on the first day of the New Year.Continue reading

Book publishing grew by almost 50 percent between 2010 and 2022. Reading became a very popular leisure activity during the epidemic. According to a survey, a third of the world’s population read more books and listened to audiobooks at home during the pandemic than before. Future positive trends may be ensured by the fact that young people, so-called Generation Z, like to read, and among them paper books are the most popular.

The graph summarizes key statistics for the cultural sector, including budget expenditure as a share of GDP in comparison with the EU, domestic theater and museum attendance data, and trends in book publishing. Photo via Oeconomus Economic Research Foundation

As today is the Day of Hungarian culture, here are some of this year’s programs:

Guided tour of the Petőfi Literary Museum (PIM)

It should be noted that on this memorable day, Tamás Cseh, Kossuth and Liszt Ferenc Prize-winning Hungarian singer-songwriter was born, and would have celebrated his 81st birthday this year, writes Magyar Nemzet. The PIM is still showing the exhibition “Situation Reports,” created to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the birth of  Tamás Cseh.

Uránia National Film Theater in Budapest

The Uránia Cinema is preparing for the special day with film portraits: on January 22, nine films will be screened, in the form of documentaries or feature films, depicting the lives, adventures, and struggles of important Hungarian personalities. The stories of contemporary writers, musicians, sportsmen, but also the life of a 19th century doctor and a modern-day nature lover will be told on screen.

The Klebelsberg Culture Mansion pays tribute to slide films

Slide film is enjoying a renaissance in today’s over-developed cinematic era: the Klebelsberg Culture Mansion is celebrating the Day of Hungarian Culture with two slide film events. As they emphasize, slide films are an important element of the last century of Hungarian cultural history, since in addition to illustrating fairy tales, folk tales, and poems, they also featured sagas, adaptations of historical events, and literary works.

Mária Petrás exhibition and concert in Subotica (Szabadka, Szerbia)

An exhibition on the folk singer and ceramic artist Mária Petrás, a full member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts, will open in Subotica. At the event, Mária Petrás will perform a concert of traditional Moldavian Hungarian melodies with her fellow musicians.

All-Arts Gala to Celebrate Day of Culture in Veszprém
All-Arts Gala to Celebrate Day of Culture in Veszprém

The evening will feature almost all aspects of Hungarian culture.Continue reading

Via Magyar Nemzet, Oeconomus; Featured image via Facebook/Szegedi Nemzetközi Néptáncfesztivál és Martin György Néptáncfesztivál

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