Terézia Day

by Terézia Mora

A story goes around the world (Issue III/2020)


Terèzia Mora. Photo: Antje Berghäuser

In Hungary, especially in catholic regions, your name day is more important than your birthday. School children bring a flower to their teachers and families organise huge parties. These honour several family members at the same time because it is common that the oldest daughter takes the name of the mother or the eldest son has the father's name. So in my family, there was a whole chain of Terézias: me, my mother, my grandmother, my godmother and some cousins. You can see just how enduring this tradition is with the Anna Ball, which is held every summer at Lake Balaton in Balatonfüred and is one of the major events of the season.

The ball was first held on 26 July 1825 in honour of Anna-Krisztina, the daughter of the house Szentgyörgyi-Horváth, and took place in their property. One of the most elegant balls Hungary in the 19th century, it not only attracted  aristocratic families, but also many artists and intellectuals. Today this ball is very commercial and every year the supposedly the most beautiful woman at the event is given the title "Queen of the Ball". Most name day parties are different, especially when it comes to male names: Across society they quickly turn in to an orgy of food and drink.

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