The official state holiday in Budapest was originally Constitution Day, but since it was changed seven times in the past few years, the new official state holiday is Saint Stephen’s Day and the “Day of the New Bread.” During this holiday, the city puts on a beautiful half-hour fireworks show on the bank of the Danube River. People gather on both sides, on Buda and Pest to watch the display, as they all celebrate together. Luckily for us, we had a river boat cruise set up that evening, so we had first row seats to the fireworks show.
We began our cruise early, seeing as dinner and drinks were provided for everyone on our tour group, and dinner consisted of traditional Hungarian food. Between Hungarian Goulash, with chunks of beef, potatoes, vegetables, and the Hungarian specialty, paprika, Chicken Paprikash, which is chicken in a creamy, paprika sauce, and Nokedli, or dumplings usually served alongside stews and meats, we couldn’t have asked for better Hungarian cuisine! From where our boat was, we had an incredible view of the surrounding city, especially the Parliament House.
The Parliament House was built between 1885-1904. During the World War II, local citizens removed the windows of the building, put them in sandbags and hid them in the caves of surrounding buildings. They returned the windows once the war ended, and thanks to these people, these beautiful windows were saved.
At 9:00pm, the show began, and fireworks were being lit left and right. The city put on an incredible show, and it was truly the perfect way to celebrate our last night in Budapest.