March 15th is one of three national holidays in Hungary, and this one in particular for celebrating the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. While it didn’t achieve the desired independence from the Hapsburg rule as it had intended, it made a path for it, and created a lot of Hungarian icons in the meantime, both poet and politician. Many of the leaders of the revolution escaped to America and ended up fighting for the Union during the Civil War.
Maybe it’s the wrong word celebration, which is something probably a little overused by Americans. The holiday is about remembrance–for people to get out and show their national pride, heading the call of national poet Sándor Petőfi in his National Song: Talpra magyar, hí a haza. On your feet, Magyar, the homeland calls. And many a Magyar were on their feet on Monday. The sun was really really shining for the first time in months and people were out enjoying it. I’ve uploaded pictures of the day to Flickr. Click on the picture above to access the short slide show (and yes, there is the requisite sausage-shot).