August 20 – Hungarian national day

August 20th is the national day of Hungary. That means that this Friday grocery stores and most shops will be closed, while restaurants and cinemas normally remain open. August 20th is celebrated in Hungary as it is the nameday of Hungary’s first king, King Stephen (István).

Most Hungarians stay at home and enjoy the date as a normal day off. The last years a big attraction has though been the Red Bull Air Race, which unfortunately was cancelled in Budapest this year. Earlier they also spoke of cancelling the annual fireworks (to use the money help people suffering from the floods in Hungary instead), but a company from Szombathely offered to stand the cost for an alternative and shorter firework show. Therefore at 21.00 there will be hopefully beautiful fireworks along the Danube in Budapest (see Fireworks 2009 video) !

There will be some special program by the Saint Stephens Basilica during daytime August 20th.

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