Weekly newsletter

One of a Kind Grandiose Fireworks Show for Our National Holiday

Hungary Today 2023.08.21.

An impressive spectacle crowned this year’s St. Stephen’s Day celebrations in Budapest. A fireworks show of unprecedented complexity was put on, the only one of its kind in Europe.

The fireworks show with the Budapest Eye Ferris wheel and St. Stephen’s Basilica in the background. Photo via MTI/Balogh Zoltán

34,000 pyrotechnic effects lit up the sky from 230 launch points, including the Liberty and Elizabeth bridges, seven river barges, and numerous other points.

Photo via MTI/Lakatos Péter

A spectacular element of the Fire and Lights Game was the drone show, in which a total of 896 unmanned aerial vehicles formed shapes from symbols of Hungarian history. Once again, the festive fire and light show brought to life the fateful historical events of the Hungarian nation.

The Holy Crown of Hungary. Photo via Facebook/Csodálatos Magyarország

The drone show was synchronized over the Parliament and the Petőfi Bridge, giving visitors an excellent view of the show from many parts of Budapest.

The turul bird, the Hungarian mythological bird. Photo via szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu

Through the play of fireworks and lights, the fateful historical events and genesis of the Hungarian nation were brought to life.

Photo via Facebook/Magyarország Kormánya

The seven movements of the fireworks show, with musical accompaniment and narration, recalled the birth of the nation, the story of the blood ties and the conquest of Hungary, the era of Christian-Pagan wars, and the faith and hope that have defined the past and present of Hungary.

The Parliament in light painting. Photo via Facebook/Magyarország Kormánya

The success of the St. Stephen’s Day Fireworks is recognized by the international events industry, as evidenced by the fact that the 2022 show won the event industry’s ‘Oscar.’

The Rákóczi Bridge during the fireworks. Photo MTI/Illyés Tibor

Since 1991, August 20th has been celebrated as the day of the founding of the state and St. Stephen’s Day.

Photo via Facebook/Csodálatos Magyarország

You can watch the full fireworks show here:

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán posted about the national holiday on his social media, saying “Happy Birthday Hungary.”

Agriculture Minister István Nagy praised the fireworks show on his Facebook page, writing that “the display was more impressive than ever.”

On the morning of August 20, the national celebrations began with a flag-raising and the passing of the oath of allegiance ceremony in front of the Parliament on Kossuth Square. Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky, Minister of Defense, and Gábor Böröndi, Chief of the Defense Staff, gave speeches during the celebration.

The procession of the oath-takers. Photo via MTI/Máthé Zoltán

Photo via MTI/Máthé Zoltán

Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky during his speech. Photo via MTI/Máthé Zoltán

Another very important moment of the national celebration after the Holy Mass is the procession of the Holy Right, in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica at Széchenyi Square.

Members of the Honvéd Koronaőrség (Honvéd Crown Guard) carry the oracle of the Holy Right. Photo via MTI/Hegedüs Róbert


The second half of the 19th century saw the emergence of the essential element of the cult of Saint Stephen, the carrying of the relic of the Holy Right in processions. This custom is part and parcel of the cult of the relic; it probably emerged relatively late in connection with St. Job’s because it was not kept in a permanent place and was constantly feared that it would disappear or be stolen.

The first “tour” of the Holy Right in Hungary began in 1771, when it was brought home from Raguza (Dubrovnik).

Since 1990, one of the most important events in Budapest, the St. Stephen’s Day procession now traditionally begins in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica, with the relic of King Stephen’s right hand in front and thousands of Christian believers behind it.

New Record: Almost 1.5 Million People Watched the Fireworks Display in Budapest
New Record: Almost 1.5 Million People Watched the Fireworks Display in Budapest

Despite critical voices calling for the canceling of the spectacle, Hungarians flooded the Danube riverbank in record numbers.Continue reading

Featured Photo via Facebook/Magyarország Kormánya

    [1536x1536] => Array
            [width] => 1536
            [height] => 1536
            [crop] => 

    [2048x2048] => Array
            [width] => 2048
            [height] => 2048
            [crop] =>