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

Péter Cseresnyés 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