New Year’s Eve Traditions – Sparklers & Frankfurters (Hungary)

 Our New Year’s Eve Tradtions from around the world series, takes us now to Mama Pea Pod and Hungary.                                                                                 It is all about food and sparkles. In Hungary, New Year’s Eve (called Szilveszter in Hungarian), is often celebrated with a large dinner of pork and stuffed cabbage for good luck. At midnight, it’s customary to kiss your family and friends on both cheeks (the typical Hungarian greeting) for good luck throughout the year.

Frankfurters & Roast Big

And don’t be surprised if frankfurter sausages and roast pig start getting served shortly after midnight, even after the big meal you just ate a couple of hours before!

As in many places, New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate and have fun, partying the night away and toasting with some Hungarian champagne! In Budapest, the capital city, there are fireworks shows at midnight. 

Noise Makers & Evil Sprits

Szilveszter is also a time of superstitions, to ensure good luck for the coming year. In an effort to scare away evil spirits, people make as much noise as they can. Kazoos, paper horns, and other noisemakers keep the spirits away. People often wear silly hats, masks, and accessories, and buy noise-makers, fireworks, and sparklers. 

Last year was the first year we celebrated New Year’s Eve with the kids (though not as late as midnight!). We decided to have a spontaneous party and invited all our neighbours with kids (8 adults and 6 kids in all, ranging in age from 1 1/2 to 7 years old). We had snacks and drinks, and then we bundled the children up in their snowsuits and took them out to the garden to light up some sparklers. They all had a wonderful time waving them around in the dark (with very close adult supervision, of course*), and blowing their paper horns to make as much noise as they could!

*It goes without saying, really, but children should be supervised carefully whenever they are around sparklers or fireworks, should be shown how to safely hold a sparkler near the end away from the sparks, and should never pick up a sparkler that has burnt out as it remains hot for some time. We also had a designated place to put the burnt out sparklers, to avoid anyone stepping on them or picking them up. Also, please ensure that children are spaced far enough apart to avoid bumping one another with their sparklers.

Boldog Új Évet Kivánok! I wish you a happy New Year!


Want MORE New Year’s Eve Traditions? Take a look at:

New Year's Eve Traditions from around the wrold