Today’s Doodle celebrates Hungarian National Day, also known as Nemzeti ünnep or the anniversary of the revolution and fight for independence in 1848-1849.
During that time, as a wave of revolutionary reforms spread across Europe, heated discussions amongst artists and writers in Budapest cafes boiled over. A young poet named Sándor Petőfi helped draft the famous 12 Points outlining their demands from the Austrian Empire, including freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and an independent parliament. These were printed, distributed, and read aloud that day along with Petőfi’s national song, stirring strong feelings of national pride that led to a declaration of independence and revolution. Although the revolution was later put down, it ushered in some lasting reforms—including Europe’s first law protecting minority rights—and set the template for modern Hungary’s parliamentary government.
National Day commemorations begin with the raising of Hungary’s red, white, and green flag on Kossuth Square. Many proud Hungarians wear a rosette with the national colors while attending concerts and cultural events for families at landmarks like Buda Castle. Wreaths are laid at memorials to revolutionary war heroes like Count Lajos Batthyány, the first Prime Minister of Hungary, and Petőfi, whose rousing words inspired it all.
Happy National Day, Hungary!