The three big national days in Hungary every year are 15 March, 20 August and 23 October. The 23 October is the day when Hungarians remember the spontaneous revolt against the communist government in Hungary in 1956. It started peacefully with a big student demonstration, but as the State Security Police (communist) started firing upon the demonstrators it turned into a violent revolution. After some days it seemed as if the Hungarians had won, but it all turned worse as a large Soviet Force entered the nation 4 November and overrun the Hungarian forces. More than 2500 Hungarians died during the battles, and more than 200.000 had to flee the country.
A sign of the revolution was the Hungarian flag, from which they cut out the Soviet symbol, and because of that a big hole was in the middle of the flag.
During the national day most shops are closed in Budapest, but museums, thermal baths, zoo and so are open. Restaurants are open as well, but it is recommended to reserve a table beforehand, as several people eat outside on days such as this.