Famous Hungarians


May 12, 13 and 14 are the name days of the three so-called ice saints, Pongrác, Szervác, Bonifác in the Hungarian calendar. Before weather forecast became big business and media event, Hungarian folklore created weather rhymes based on observing weather changes year by year. Szervác, Pongrác, Bonifác, megharagszik, fagyot ráz! – says a popular rhyme […]

By |May 10th, 2017|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

ANDRÁS HADIK – The Hussar of the Hussars

Fancy to see a real Magyar hussar? Just a stone’s throw away from Matthias Church in the Castle Hill stands a statue of a hussar sitting proudly on a fine horse in his captain’s uniform. It’s the memorial to the 3rd Hussar Regiment (1732-1918) named after its most famous general, András Hadik. Erected in 1937 […]

By |March 25th, 2017|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Matthias, the Ice-breaker


February 24 is Mátyás’s (Matthias) nameday in the Hungarian calendar.  According to Hungarian folklore weather forecasting Apostle Matthias’s day is remembered as JÉGTÖRŐ MÁTYÁS (’ice-breaking’ – jég + tör + ő) who cracks the ice with his axe and thus breaks the power of winter. For sure, spring is in the air.

Although not the most […]

By |February 24th, 2017|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Matthias, the Just

The King-in-Disguise
The personage of the fifteenth century King Matthias (Mátyás in Hungarian, Matei Corvin for Romanians) has been a bone of contention between Hungarians and Romanians for ages. Gheorghe Funar, the Hungarian bashing Romanian mayor of Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) in the 1990s, took the claim of Romanian history textbooks that Mátyás was of Romanian origin literally, and […]

By |February 23rd, 2017|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Attila the Hun

Every 7th of January I have to call four friends called Attila and congratulate them on their name day. A Hungarian table calendar tells you whose name day it is, and just to make sure every morning the radio announcer congratulates those who are celebrating their name day. In addition a little sign at the […]

By |January 4th, 2017|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments


Both foreigners and locals wonder how Peter Falk’s legendary Lieutenant Columbo and his pet basset hound landed right at the foot of the Pest side of Margaret Bridge.

The bronze statue was commissioned in 2008 by the District 5 Local Government under the false assumption that Peter Falk’s ancestor was Miksa Falk after whom the street […]

By |November 14th, 2016|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

LÁSZLÓ BÍRÓ, the inventor of the biro

Whenever I travel to less developed parts of the world, such as Cambodia, I always take hundreds of ballpoint pens with me for convenience. The reason is that hordes of children will nag you for a pen: “pen, Sir, gimme a pen”. If it were not for language difficulties I would tell them that this […]

By |October 5th, 2016|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

The Real Stories behind Hungary’s 1956 Revolution—those ‘sorrowful October events’

At major landmarks in Hungary’s capital city, one can see megaposters (see top photo) depicting heroes of the 1956 Revolution with the slogan of poet Sándor Márai: “A nation said: Enough!” (EGY NÉP MONDTA: ELÉG VOLT!)

Budapest is frenzied with the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the 1956 October events, sparked by a peaceful solidarity […]

By |September 18th, 2016|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

To celebrate Saint Stephen’s Day, here’s 1000 years of Hungarian Happenings in a handy infographic

“No history, please!” – begged a lovely visitor from a faraway country.

True, she escaped from a guided “umbrella” tour where in most cases you are bombarded with dates and unpronounceable names of local heroes, not to mention Hungary’s long list of battles.

It poses a real challenge for a tour guide, however, to explain why those […]

By |August 18th, 2016|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Bubbly Water, another Hungarian invention

When you have FRÖCCS (Wine Spritzer) next time, make sure it’s made with SZÓDAVÍZ (carbonated water) and not plastic bottled SZÉNSAVAS ÁSVÁNYVÍZ (carbonated mineral water). While SZÓDAVÍZ, chilled and fresh, brings out the best in wine and makes it a light summer drink, the minerals in the latter spoil the inherent properties of wine.

The invention […]

By |August 3rd, 2016|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments