- 23 Aug 2012 12:50 PM
In his speech, addressing the inauguration ceremony of young officers, President Áder said that Hungarians are at the threshold of a new era as the old one is in crisis and only nations that are able to "raise their soul" will become winners of the 21st century.
Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén pointed out that christianity and being Hungarian formed a natural untiy for Saint Stephen who was able to commit himself and the Hungarian state to Europe „without becoming a vassal” to the Byzantine and the Holy Roman Empires.
State secretary in charge of the Prime Minister's Office János Lázár attended a ceremony in his hometown Hódmezővásárhely and said that August 20 was also a holiday of the nation's survival. "Stephen implemented radical changes which enabled the nation to eliminate old ways and create its new world," he said, adding Hungary's success lay in governing the country in line with national traditions and those of Saint Stephen.
Celebrations across the country were attended by tens of thousands. The spectators could enjoy a remarkable show with military and civilian aircrafts, parachute jumpers, stunt planes and a watercraft parade on the section of the Danube. Meanwhile, the Parliament building was open to the public all day long.
In the afternoon, at Clark Ádám Square, the blessing of bread took place, a symbolic gesture to greet this year's harvest along with a harvest march.
In the Puskás Ferenc Stadium, the István Gyulai Memorial Athletics Grand Prix was held with some of the world's top athletes attending, and a reception in honour of the Hungarian Olympians.
The ceremonial holy mass was delivered by Cardinal Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary's Catholic Primate, at Saint Stephen's Basilica, followed by the traditional procession of St Stephen's Holy Right Hand.
Festivities run until the late hours, with the traditional fireworks in central Budapest starting at 9 pm.
Source: Prime Minister’s Office - kormany.hu