National symbols of Hungary

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Holy Crown of Hungary A Szent Korona elolrol 2.jpg
Holy Crown of Hungary
The Holy Right Sztjobb.jpg
The Holy Right
Turul, the Hungarian mythical symbol Turul-Tb-front.jpg
Turul, the Hungarian mythical symbol
Old Hungarian script, the ancient Hungarian writing system Enlaka rovas inscription.jpg
Old Hungarian script, the ancient Hungarian writing system

The national symbols of Hungary are flags, icons or cultural expressions that are emblematic, representative or otherwise characteristic of Hungary or Hungarian culture. The highly valued special Hungarian products and symbols are called Hungaricum. [1]


Flags and heraldry

The flag of Hungary is a horizontal tricolor of red, white and green. The coat of arms of the Árpád dynasty is also popular.

Flora and fauna

Almost a fifth of the country is forested, however only 10 percent is natural forest. [2] Hungary is home to some 2,200 flowering plant species and, because of its topography and transitional climate, many of them are not normally found at this latitude. Much of the flora in the Villány and Mecsek Hills in Southern Transdanubia, for example, is usually seen only around the Mediterranean Sea. [2] On the southern Szársomlyó Hill of the Villány Mountains, the formerly unknown Colchicum hungaricum' (Hungarian Crocus) was found and botanically described in 1867 by the Hungarian botanist Viktor Janka. This is the earliest [native?] Hungarian flower to bloom.

The saline Hortobágy region on the Eastern Plain has many plants normally found on the seashore, and the Nyírség area is famous for meadow flowers. The Gemenc forest on the Danube River near Szekszárd, the Little Balaton in the center of Transdanubia, and the Tisza River backwater east of Kecskemét are important wetlands. [2] Most of the trees in the nation's forests are deciduous beech, oak, and birch, and a small percentage are fir. Since the 14th century, over 250 new plants have colonized Hungary, of which almost 70 are considered invasive. [2] Many such plants are perennial herbs that have slowly extirpated some native flora. [2]

Historically, Hungary was the second largest supplier of paprika to the United States, [3] despite the spice not being a product of a Hungarian native plant. Hungarian paprika has a distinctive flavor and is in great demand in Europe where it is used as a spice rather than as a coloring agent. [3]


National Anthem

"Himnusz" was adopted in the 19th century and the first stanza is sung at official ceremonies. The words were written by Ferenc Kölcsey, a nationally renowned poet in 1823, and its currently officially recognised musical setting was composed by romantic composer Ferenc Erkel in 1844, although other, lesser known musical versions exist.

Food and drink

The traditional Hungarian dishes abound in piquant flavors and aromas. [4] Dishes are flavorful, spicy and often rather heavy. Flavors of Hungarian dishes are based on centuries-old traditions in spicing and preparation methods. [4] The exquisite ingredients are produced by local agricultural and husbandry. Paprika, onion and garlic are to be found everywhere. In the Middle Ages the fish soup was the most popular and the most lovely fishmeal in Hungary. [4] A cookery book from 1860 contains 400 fish recipes. [4] The most well-known specialities of Hungarian cuisine such as goulash soup, the different varieties of stew and paprikás are red with paprika. [4]

See also

Related Research Articles

Geography of Hungary

Hungary is a landlocked country in East-Central Europe with a land area of 93,030 square km. It measures about 250 km from north to south and 524 km from east to west. It has 2,106 km of boundaries, shared with Austria to the west, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia to the south and southwest, Romania to the southeast, Ukraine to the northeast, and Slovakia to the north.

Hungarian cuisine Culinary traditions of Hungary

Hungarian or Magyar cuisine is the cuisine characteristic of the nation of Hungary and its primary ethnic group, the Magyars. Traditional Hungarian dishes are primarily based on meats, seasonal vegetables, fruits, bread, dairy products and cheeses.

Tripe Edible offal from the stomachs of various farm animals

Tripe is a type of edible lining from the stomachs of various farm animals. Most tripe is from cattle, pig and sheep.

<i>Colchicum</i> Genus of flowering plants in the family Colchicaceae

Colchicum is a genus of perennial flowering plants containing around 160 species which grow from bulb-like corms. It is a member of the botanical family Colchicaceae, and is native to West Asia, Europe, parts of the Mediterranean coast, down the East African coast to South Africa and the Western Cape. In this genus, the ovary of the flower is underground. As a consequence, the styles are extremely long in proportion, often more than 10 cm (4 in). All species in the genus are toxic.

Goulash Meat and vegetable stew

Goulash is a soup or stew of meat and vegetables seasoned with paprika and other spices. Originating in Hungary, goulash is a common meal predominantly eaten in Central Europe but also in other parts of Europe. It is one of the national dishes of Hungary and a symbol of the country.

Polish cuisine Culinary traditions of Poland

Polish cuisine is a style of cooking and food preparation originating in or widely popular in Poland. Polish cuisine has evolved over the centuries to become very eclectic due to Poland's history and it shares many similarities with neighbouring German as well as Ashkenazi Jewish culinary traditions, and vice-versa. Polish-styled cooking in other cultures is often referred to as à la polonaise.

Austrian cuisine Style of cuisine native to Austria

Austrian cuisine is a style of cuisine native to Austria and composed of influences from Central Europe and throughout the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. Austrian cuisine is most often associated with Viennese cuisine, but there are significant regional variations.

Gulyásleves Hungarian soup

Gulyásleves, is a Hungarian soup, made of beef, vegetables, ground paprika and other spices. It originates from a dish cooked by the cattlemen, who tended their herds in the Great Hungarian Plain. These Hungarian cowboys often camped out with their cattle days away from populated areas, so they had to make their food from ingredients they could carry with themselves, and this food had to be cooked in the one available portable cauldron over an open fire.

The culture of Hungary varies greatly across Hungary. It includes varying folk crafts, such as embroidery, decorated pottery and carvings. Hungarian music includes classical and baroque pieces along with folk music, modern pop and Roma music. Noted Hungarian authors include Sándor Márai, Imre Kertész, Péter Esterházy, Magda Szabó and János Kodolányi. Imre Kertész is particularly notworthy for having won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2002.

Romanian cuisine is a diverse blend of different dishes from several traditions with which it has come into contact, but it also maintains its own character. It has been mainly influenced by Turkish and a series of European cuisines in particular from the Balkans, or Hungarian cuisine as well as culinary elements stemming from the cuisines of Eastern and Central Europe.

Tripe soup Food

Tripe soup, tripe stew or tripe chorba is a soup or stew made with tripe. It is widely considered to be a hangover remedy.

Serbian cuisine consists of the culinary methods and traditions of the Republic of Serbia. Its roots lie in Serbian history, including centuries of cultural contact and influence with the Byzantines, the Ottomans, the defunct state of Yugoslavia, and Serbia's Balkan neighbours. Historically, Serbian food was characterised by strong influence from Byzantine (Greek) and Mediterranean cuisines, but also by Ottoman (Turkish), and to a lesser extent Central European cuisine.

Pörkölt Hungarian stew

Pörkölt is a meat stew which originates from Hungary, but is eaten throughout Central Europe.

Czech cuisine Culinary traditions of the Czech Republic

Czech cuisine has both influenced and been influenced by the cuisines of surrounding countries and nations. Many of the cakes and pastries that are popular in Central Europe originated within the Czech lands. Contemporary Czech cuisine is more meat-based than in previous periods; the current abundance of farmable meat has enriched its presence in regional cuisine. Traditionally, meat has been reserved for once-weekly consumption, typically on weekends. The body of Czech meals typically consists of two or more courses; the first course is traditionally soup, the second course is the main dish, and the third course can include supplementary courses, such as dessert or compote. In the Czech cuisine, thick soups and many kinds of sauces, both based on stewed or cooked vegetables and meats, often with cream, as well as baked meats with natural sauces (gravies), are popular dishes usually accompanied with beer, especially Pilsner, that Czechs consume the most in the world. Czech cuisine is also very strong in sweet main courses and desserts, a unique feature in European cuisines.

Hungarian sausages Sausages of Hungarian cuisine

Hungarian sausages are sausages found in the cuisine of Hungary. Hungary produces a vast number of sausage types. They may be boiled, fresh or dried, and smoked, with different spices and flavors, "hot" or "mild". Many were influenced by their neighbor and brethren.

Israeli cuisine Israeli cuisine

Israeli cuisine comprises both local dishes and dishes brought to Israel by Jews from the Diaspora. Since before the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, and particularly since the late 1970s, an Israeli Jewish fusion cuisine has developed.

Chicken paprikash Hungarian chicken dish seasoned with paprika

Chicken paprikash or paprika chicken is a popular dish of Hungarian origin and one of the most famous variations on the paprikas preparations common to Hungarian tables. The name is derived from the ample use of paprika, a spice commonly used in Hungarian cuisine. The meat is typically simmered for an extended period in a sauce that begins with a paprika-infused roux.

Paprika Spice made from red peppers

Paprika is a spice made from dried and ground red peppers. It is traditionally made from Capsicum annuum varietals in the Longum group, which also includes chili peppers, but the peppers used for paprika tend to be milder and have thinner flesh. In many languages, but not English, the word paprika also refers to the plant and the fruit from which the spice is made, as well as to peppers in the Grossum group.

Stew Combination of solid food ingredients

A stew is a combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy. Ingredients in a stew can include any combination of vegetables and may include meat, especially tougher meats suitable for slow-cooking, such as beef, poultry, sausages, and seafood. While water can be used as the stew-cooking liquid, stock is also common. A small amount of red wine is sometimes added for flavour. Seasoning and flavourings may also be added. Stews are typically cooked at a relatively low temperature, allowing flavours to mingle.


  1. International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Report of a Working Group on Medicinal and Aromatic plants: first meeting 12-14 September 2002, Gozd Martuljek, Slovenia, 2004, p. 46
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Neal Bedford, Lonely Planet Hungary, Lonely Planet, 2009, p. 64
  3. 1 2 Niir Board,Handbook On Spices (Reprint Edition - 2010), National Institute of Industrial Re, 2010, p. 101
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Teresa de Noronha Vaz, Peter Nijkamp, Jean-Louis Rastoin, Traditional food production and rural sustainable development: a European challenge, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2009, p. 106