In the 20 August fireworks display which was designed with the aid of the most sophisticated special fireworks design software, more than 26,000 visual effects will be used.

According to the website of the series of festive programmes (, the slogan of the national holiday will be ‘Happy Birthday, Hungary’. Similar to the past few years, the central events of the national holiday will last for three days, Zoltán Kovács, Minister of State of the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister said at a press conference about the festive events held on Wednesday in Budapest.

The Celebration of Crafts will begin as early as on 17 August in Buda Castle, while the Street of Hungarian Flavours will open on Sunday, 18 August in front of the Castle Garden Bazaar and will await visitors for three days, introducing the folk gastroculture of the Carpathian Basin.

The 20 August programmes will begin with a ceremony at Kossuth tér where the national flag will be hoisted with military honours. This will be followed by the inauguration of officer candidates where attendees will be addressed by Defence Minister Tibor Benkő and a ceremonial speech will be delivered by President of the Republic János Áder. The Hungarian Defence Forces will perform a military air show on the section of the Danube between the Chain Bridge and the Parliament Building. As part of the programme planned to last 50 minutes, spectators will be able to see fourteen airplanes (including Gripen fighter jets), helicopters and motorboats.

Also this year, there will be a holy mass and a Holy Right Hand of St. Stephen procession in St. Stephen’s Basilica, while the Parliament Building will be open to visitors for viewing the Holy Crown.

“The contractor will implement this year’s 20 August fireworks display in the capital from a lower budget compared with last year, from HUF 222 million. Pyrotechnicians designed more than 26,000 visual effects, for the purposes of which 6,500 pyrotechnical elements will have to be installed. There will be at least 3,600 fireworks bombs – elements which offer maximum spectacle –, and the display was designed with the aid of the most sophisticated special fireworks design software, coordinated with background music,” Mr Kovács stressed.

He added that also this year the series of events will focus on safety, and the operations corps responsible for the safe implementation of the festive programmes has already started its work. The fireworks display will be supervised and controlled from a temporary controls point. “Should the need arise, the display could be stopped at any moment with the pressing of a single button”.

The fireworks rockets will be launched from nine locations (from seven barges and pontoons on two sections of the Danube, from the Chain Bridge and from Elizabeth Bridge), and there will be a surprise this year as well.

At the press conference, József Septe, President of the Hungarian Bakers’ Association presented this year’s St. Stephen’s Day bread: the creation called Lucky Pouch was made by master bakers Péter Vajda and Zoltán Takó from the Pedró Bakery. “It was made from wheat flour, using durum flour, with the traditional sourdough process. It is a wheat bread with a crunchy crust, kneaded into a special shape, a genuine piece of handcraft which has a high water content, and which therefore remains fresh and soft for a long time,” József Septe said.

This year, fifty bread creations were submitted for the bread competition and an independent jury selected the winner product. Visitors will be able to taste the St. Stephen’s Day bread on 20 August at the Street of Hungarian Flavours, and according to plans it will also be baked throughout the country.

László Selmeczi, Co-Chair of the Association of Hungarian Confectionery Manufacturers announced that this year Hungary’s cake is the creation called Virgin Mary’s Lace which was made by Norbert Tóth from the Dunaföldvár Tóth Cakeshop, combining traditions with modernity.

In the first round of the competition organised for the sixteenth time, five cakes were shortlisted from among the 31 entrants, and in the finals these cakes had to be re-created live in the presence of the jury. In every layer of the winner Virgin Mary’s Lace, the flavour of raspberry is present; above the bottom layer, there is a layer of sponge enriched with raspberry puree, followed by a layer of cream loosened with whipped cream, and on top there is chocolate with basil and lemon, combined with whipped cream.

Hungary’s sugar-free cake was also selected with the involvement of the One Drop of Attention Foundation. The selected cake is the creation of the Szeged A Cappella Cakeshop, called Little Chestnut. Chestnut dominates the overall flavour of the cake created by László Gyuris and his team, and it is made more round and complete by the pleasantly sour taste of cranberry and hazelnut crunch. The top of the cake creation is covered in sugar-free milk chocolate. The cake only contains 14.9 grams of carbohydrate and 240 calories per slice, meaning that it is also suitable for diabetics.

Members of the public will be able to sample the two winner cakes at the Street of Hungarian Flavours from 18 August, and the new cake creations could thereafter reach hundreds of cakeshops around Hungary.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)