Tonight is the celebration of New year´s eve and in Hungary, as many other countries, the people go party!
An event less celebrated among relatives and more with friends, specially in Budapest the young people go to pubs or clubs or they simply walk around downtown. Others meet friends at home or in restaurants. There is also the tradition of Gala balls, which is not for me at all. I don´t like these overdressed and fancy events.
My husband and I are going to a restaurant tonight where there will be a special menu, champagne, lentils and a band playing alive. To tell the truth, this is the first time we stay in Budapest for the Szilvezster celebration (as they call tonight´s event) and I am very excited to check it out. After midnight we will walk downtown and check around the people on the streets!
I´ve heard there are no fireworks. That is strange for me. In Brazil we use to celebrate no matter where you are with them. In my hometown, at the beach, in big cities like São Paulo, all of them celebrate it with fireworks. Once I spent the New Year´s eve on top of a Dune in Barreirinhas (Maranhão State), North-East part of the country and there were the beautiful lights there in the sky. But tonight, we won´t have it. The picture above is Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro.
Another difference is the dress code and the superstitions. In Brazil, due to the summer season, the strong cultural influence from Africans ancestors and other factors that I cannot explain, we use to celebrate wearing white outfit. We never wear black or dark colors at the last day of the year. Also there is a tradition about your underwear. It can be white, but also you can wear your underwear in different colors, depends on your wishes for the upcoming year. For example: yellow means money, red means love, etc… on the right side you will find the whole list of colors and meanings, but unfortunately it is in Portuguese. If the underwear is brand new, your chances to get what you wish are even higher! This is a funny superstition, but anyhow connect everybody at year end because everybody does this. Ok, maybe my father in law doesn´t! 🙂
To tell the truth, I never asked to a Hungarian which color is their underwear for the new year´s eve, but I guess there is no big deal or any superstition about this! At least, I didn´t see any store advertising the special collection for tonight like they do in Brazil…
Also we have a superstition of jumping the waves if you are at the beach. You should enter after midnight into the ocean and jump the small waves, 7 times to be more precise, and make your wishes for the new year (see the picture below). Also some people throw flowers into the ocean to honor Iemanjá, the Goddess of the water. But this is more for those who believe in religions like Candonblé or other African related religions (non Christians). I don´t expect tonight none of these as well!
But what I found already as similarities is to eat lentils after midnight to bring money and good luck! Also the champagne!
What is different here? The funny hats, masks and horns that had been sold on the streets, the mulled wine kiosks and other special food typical of this season.
I am sure we will have fun tonight and even dressing our heavy coats instead of summer white dresses, in a temperature below zero instead of jumping waves. The happiness of the Hungarians will heat our heart, drive off any homesick feeling and cheer us up with the wonderful feeling of being here once again!
It is “MULATSÁG” time!
Sources of Pictures (all of them related to the Brazilian tradition):