“The operative body responsible for the secure organisation of the 23 October national holiday has authorised the related security plan”, the body’s head announced at a press conference in Budapest on Thursday.

State Secretary for International Communication and Relations Zoltán Kovács highlighted: “23 October is the most important manifestation of the Hungarians’ desire for freedom and the Hungarian people’s battle for independence”. “On 23 October 1956, events occurred with which everyday people, the ‘Lads of Pest’, set an example not only to Hungarians, but to the whole of the world. Protecting national sovereignty and freedom, and standing up for these, are everyday tasks, and the responsibility of not only politicians, but also everyday people”, he noted, adding: “23 October stands as an example of the fact that everyone can take action to achieve freedom even in the most hopeless situations”.

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This year’s events are being held under the slogan “The Day of Freedom”, said the State Secretary, who detailing the programme told the press: On Tuesday, 22 October, a wreath laying ceremony will be held at the University of Technology’s 1956 memorial. A speech will be given by former Prime Minister Péter Boross. At the event, which will begin at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics at 3 p.m., a speech will also be given by Minister for Innovation and Technology László Palkovics.

Following this, the traditional, period torchlight commemorative procession will take place to the Bem statue, where the Ministry of Human Capacities’ Parliamentary State Secretary Bence Rétvári will give a speech.

In the evening, János Csík and Esszencia will give a concert, during and after which a light show will be projected onto the adjacent buildings.

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On 23 October, events will begin at 9 a.m.  with the ceremonious hoisting of the flag in front of Parliament on Kossuth Square.

The Holy Crown will be open to the public all day in the Parliament Building, in addition to which family programs will await all visitors on Kossuth Square.

The now traditional Freedom Concert will be held at the Millenáris Park at 7 in the evening, following which the series of celebratory events will be drawn to a close by a gala concert at the Academy of Music, Mr. Kovács explained.

Parliament declared 23 October an official national holiday in 1991, which was later also reinforced by the 2012 Constitution.