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How Hungarians Celebrated New Year’s Eve in the 20th Century

Hungary Today 2020.01.01.

As the year has ended and everyone is preparing for 2020, we take a dive into Hungary’s most beloved online photo archive, Fortepan.  By collecting the best amateur pictures of the celebration of the end of the year, we are trying to evoke the atmosphere of a typical  20th century Hungarian  New Year’s Eve party. Here are the fifteen best photographs, perfectly illustrating how our ancestors bid farewell to the old year and welcomed the new one.

1916. Photo: Fortepan/Lajos Horváth


1917. Soldiers celebrating New Year’s Eve during World War I. Photo: Fortepan/Attila Jankó


1931. New Year’s Eve at writer László Németh’s apartment. The photo shows some of the greatest Hungarian poets and writers. In the picture: Mihály Babits, Sophie Török, Lászlóné Németh, Zoltánné Farkas, József Erdélyi, László Németh, and Gyula Illyés. Photo: Fortepan/ Németh László Society


1932. Photo: Fortepan


1933. Photo: Fortepan/Rita Lovas


1938. Photo: Fortepan/Alice Császy


1940. Photo: Fortepan/ Tibor Erky-Nagy


1942. Photo: Fortepan/Tibor Erky-Nagy


1964. Studio of the Hungarian Radio. The recording of the Radio’s New Year’s Eve show ‘BÚÉK 1965!’, with renowned actor Iván Darvas in the middle. Photo: Fortepan/ Zoltán Szalay


1965. Photo: Fortepan/Anna Geréb

1968.Photo: Fortepan/Magyar Rendőr


1971. Photo: Fortepan/Gyula Nagy


1973. New Year’s Eve at writer László Németh’s apartment. In the photo: writers Gyula Illyés (left), Tibor Déry (right), behind Déry, Gyuláné Illyés Flóra Kozmutza, behind her, actress Katalin Gombos. Photo: Fortepan/Németh László Society


1977. Street vendor at Ferenciek tere in Budapest. Photo: Fortepan


1980. Broadcasting of Hungarian Radio from a downtown Budapest apartment on New Year’s Eve. Photo: Fortepan/Tamás Urbán

Featured photo via Fortepan/Tibor Erky-Nagy


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