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At the traditional August 20th swearing-in ceremony of military officers this morning, in honor of Hungary’s National Day, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán talked about the importance of Central European unity, the future of European civilization and our nation’s survival.
Although the fireworks, the most spectacular part of the festivities, have been canceled in light of the looming coronavirus threat, Hungarians still have much to celebrate on St. Stephen’s Day. Here’s the history behind August 20th that makes it so important for Hungarians around the globe.
Obwohl das Feuerwerk, der spektakulärste Teil der Feierlichkeiten, angesichts der Bedrohung durch das Coronavirus abgesagt wurde, haben die Ungarn am Sankt-Stephans-Tag noch viel zu feiern. Und dies ist der historische Hintergrund hinter dem 20. August, der es für Ungarn auf der ganzen Welt so wichtig macht.
Zoltán Kovács, State Secretary for International Communications and Relations, said the celebrations will honor a more than 1,000-year-old state that protects not only its own identity and culture but also the culture, borders and identity of Europe.
"In order to preserve Hungary for our children and grandchildren, and to live here as Hungarians, we must protect our country’s borders and act against such dangers as mass illegal migration and terrorism,” Hungary's defense minister said
King St. Stephen, or Szent István Király, was the beloved first monarch of Hungary who lived during the turn of the first millenium. He was canonized August 20, 1083, by Pope Gregory VII for bringing Christianity to Hungary and later deemed the patron saint of Hungary. In 1771, Queen Maria Theresa declared the day a national state and church holiday. The celebration has been observed annually on the saint’s feast day ever since and commemorates the foundation of the Hungarian state.