About Day of Hungarian Culture
On January 22nd 1823, Ferenc Kölcsey – one of the most important literary characters in Hungarian history – completed his manuscript of the Hungarian National Anthem which is now considered his work of art.
It was first mentioned as the national anthem in 1989 and since then the day when the poem was completed is called the Day of Hungarian Culture.
According to the manuscript, kept in the National Museum, he finished his poem on January 22nd, 1823. The poem evoked the glory of Hungary’s past, titled “Hymnus, a’ Magyar nép zivataros századaiból” (Hymn, from the stormy centuries of the Hungarian people), and, eventually, it proved to be the most important Hungarian poem ever written.
Kölcsey first published his poem in 1828. In 1844 Ferenc Erkel composed the music to the poem, and that’s when what later became the national anthem of Hungary, was born.
Although it was 145-years-old at the time and was regarded as such for almost as long, Kölcsey and Erkel’s collaboration was mentioned in the Hungarian constitution as the national anthem for the first time in 1989, after the proclamation of the Hungarian Republic. And since then, the day when the poem was finished is called the Day of Hungarian Culture.
Since 1989 anniversary commemorations have been held nationally and internationally on this day to celebrate and nurture the Hungarian cultural heritage.