Christmas is usually a quiet time in Hungary, with families and close friends visiting each other, eating great food, drinking great wine and relaxing. It's on New Year's Eve (or Szilveszter as the Hungarians say) that the locals go out and party.
Before the night's festivities begin, some head out to the Kincsem Park racecourse for the traditional New Year's Eve afternoon's horse racing.
Budapest's bars and restaurants start filling up from the early evening on, with fireworks over our namesake, the Danube at midnight. After that, anything goes - gala dinners and dinner dances on cruise boats, sumptuous meals in five-star restaurants, all-night DJ sessions in District VII.
Those who prefer to keep things simple would visit a home party with friends and will surely be eating roast pig, stuffed cabbage or frankfurter sausages with horseradish cream and mustard to then dance away all the calories intake.
The next day, it's traditional to eat kocsonya, pork in aspic, and it's necessary to eat lentil soup - supposedly, it brings good luck and wealth in the new year. Many also soak away the night's excesses at the Széchenyi Baths or visit a gala concert in Budapest.
Either way you choose to celebrate here in the UK, if you'd like to sneak in some Hungarian flavours into your festivities, I'd recommend you try Hungary's light and fantastic sparkling wines from the Frittmann winery in Soltvadkert, Kunsag region.
My personal favourite is their white Irsai Frisecco - a lovely, fruity, refreshing drink with creamy bubbles that melt in your mouth. I'll surely be sipping this when the clock strikes midnight. If you want to join me, it's still in time for your order to arrive by 31st December.
Wishing you a great Szilveszter night and I'll see you in our next blog post in January.
Source of featured image: here.
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