New Year's Eve/Day

The traditions surrounding New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in Hungary are all about bringing luck, fortune, health, wealth and happiness for the coming year. New Year’s Eve is called Szilveszter in Hungarian.

Lucky Meals

Lentils bring you luck

Don’t leave everything to fate, increase your odds of having a great new year with a lucky meal. A menu of lucky meals in Hungary consists of roasted pork, cold pork aspic (jelly), cabbage rolls (filled with ground pork) and lentil soup.

Pigs symbolize progress as they root themselves in the ground before pushing forward. Traditionally in Hungary eating pork on New Year’s Day brings you luck. Lentils or beans symbolize wealth so lentil soup is another must have dish on New Year’s Day. After a night of partying on New Year’s Eve, korhely leves, a soup with cabbage, sausage and sour cream, is good for hangovers.

In addition to the lucky dishes listed above, Hungarians avoid eating chicken and fish on New Year’s Day, as chickens can ‘scratch’ away your luck and fish can swim away with your luck.

New Year’s Eve celebrations in Budapest and across Hungary include big festivities, fireworks and partying. New Year’s Day is celebrated with eating traditional foods, visiting family and friends and wishing everyone a Happy New Year or ‘Boldog Új Évet Kívánok’ (B.Ú.É.K.) in Hungarian.