There are 9 public holidays that fall on weekdays. In addition there are 5 so-called bridge days, which stands for bridging the public holiday to the weekend when they fall on a Tuesday or Thursday. This means there are 3 four-day and 1 five-day holidays this year (plus the simple one-dayers). Granted, you have to pay the price for bridge days, meaning having to come to work on 5 other Saturdays. But hey, in Hungary your vacation quota increases with age and in the case you have children you may even get more. So, just consider taking 5 off your quota.
Some of our holidays are quite common, like Labor day (now jointly with accession to the EU), Easter or Christmas, but we certainly have our country-specific ones, too.
Our history dates back to 1100+ years when Hungarian tribes conquered the Pannonian Basin in 895. We became official some 100 years later when our first king, Saint Stephen founded the state on August 20, 1000. Should you ask, his right hand still exists in the Cathedral named after him in Budapest.
March 15 is the National Holiday for the breakout of the 1848 Revolution when our little nation rose to disengage from the great Austrian Empire. Although a year later we got pulled down, in the long term we would preserve our independence so it has been considered a foundational act in the country’s recent history. Some of us look at this day as the real beginning of Spring every year. This year I am going to celebrate in Vienna, the capital of Austria. No hard feelings, of course.
On October 23, 1956 Hungarians rose up again, now against the government following Soviet-imposed policies. Regrettably, the Soviets marched in a couple of weeks later to help take back over, but what happened coincided with the proclamation of the Third Hungarian Republic (1989) and another National Holiday.
And last, but not least, I had finally managed to pray enough so that my birthday had been confirmed as a Public Holiday, too. I was born on November 1, which apparently matches All Saints Day. Although it is also getting popular here to do some Halloween fun and I blow the candle on my birthday cake, that day one always lights a candle for the lost ones, too.
And why are we so lucky? Maybe because Santa Claus comes to town twice in Hungary. First on December 6, which is Saint Nicholas™ Day (yes, your guessing is right, Hungarians celebrate name days too, and guess what, by accident my name is the equivalent of Nicholas) and second, arm-in-arm with Jesus and some angels, at Christmas.
I guess all I have to do now is keep on with my prayers so that name days are also declared as public holidays some day.