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Aranyvasárnap: Bronze, Silver, and Gold Sunday in Hungary

Purple, Bronze, Silver, and Gold Sunday in Hungary

In Hungary, practicing Christians celebrate the four Sundays leading up to Christmas Eve. These are called the Purple, Bronze, Silver, and Gold Sundays, originally known as the Advent Sundays.

In this article, you’ll learn all about this festive and deeply meaningful holiday, from its history to modern-day traditions for the Advent period. At HungarianPod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your language-learning journey both fun and informative—starting with this article!

Let’s get started.

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1. What is Bronze, Silver, Gold Sunday?

Purple, Bronze, Silver, and Gold Sunday are the four successive Sundays leading up to Christmas. These are not public holidays, but rather Christian holidays that have been commercialized and secularized over time.

For Christians, these are also known as the Advent Sundays. Because Sunday is a sacred day for Christians, those practicing the faith prepare for the grand Christmas Eve. celebration on each of the consecutive four Sundays. Many Hungarians also celebrate these holidays in a more secular fashion.

We’ll go more into traditions and celebrations later in this article.

2. When are the Advent Sundays?

Christmas Markets

The date of the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Sundays are moveable, though they’re always the four Sundays before Christmas Eve.

Here’s the date of each of these Sundays:

Purple Bronze Silver Gold
2019 December 1 December 8 December 15 December 22
2020 November 29 December 6 December 13 December 20
2021 November 28 December 5 December 12 December 19
2022 November 27 December 4 December 11 December 18
2023 December 3 December 10 December 17 December 24
2024 December 1 December 8 December 15 December 22
2025 November 30 December 7 December 14 December 21
2026 November 29 December 6 December 13 December 20
2027 November 28 December 5 December 12 December 19
2028 December 3 December 10 December 17 December 24

3. Advent Traditions & Celebrations

For practicing Christians, the most important aspect of the Advent Sundays is attending the masses at church. However, as mentioned earlier, these holidays are gradually becoming more and more secularized—the eventual fate of many religious holidays.

While the core meaning of these Sundays—preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus—remains mostly intact, many non-religious Hungarians celebrate them as well.

In particular, the Purple, Bronze, Silver, and Gold Sundays have become associated with shopping and great deals! Like in the West, stores now offer huge promotions for these weekends, and thousands rush to shopping malls to take advantage of massive discounts and purchasing opportunities. There are also Christmas markets open, which sell special goods and treats for the holiday season!

Many Hungarians decorate their homes with the traditional Advent wreaths and Advent candles. On each Sunday of Advent leading to Christmas Eve., families light one candle until all four candles are lit on the fourth Sunday. Children love this tradition because, with each candle lit, they know that Christmas Eve. is nearer and they’re one week closer to opening their gifts from “Little Jesus” (Jézuska)!

Another popular tradition is the Advent calendar. Parents often give their children this Advent calendar at the beginning of the month, which contains one chocolate candy for each day of the Advent period. Sometimes, the treats for the Purple, Bronze, Silver, and Gold Sundays are larger or tastier than those for the rest of the days.

4. Why Purple, Bronze, Silver, and Gold?

The original names of these days were 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Sunday of Advent.

During the four decades of Communist dictatorship, authorities had a negative approach to churches and removed the religious connotations of all holidays and special days celebrated by the nation. It was then when these names were introduced.

Christmas was renamed as the “Pine Tree Feast.” The association with the precious metals bronze, silver, and gold refers to the gradual increase in importance toward the celebration.

Interestingly, the name Purple Sunday isn’t commonly known among Hungarians; perhaps this color is used because of its association with royalty or wealth.

5. Essential Vocabulary for the Advent Sundays

Hot Wine

Here’s some vocabulary you need to know for the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Sundays in Hungary!

  • Olcsó — “Cheap”
  • Pénzt költ — “Spend money”
  • Vásárlás — “Shopping
  • Árleszállítás — “Sale”
  • Piac — “Market”
  • Alkuldozik — “Bargain”
  • Választék — “Variety”
  • Meglepetés — “Surprise
  • Forralt bor — “Hot wine”
  • Tömeg — “Crowd”
  • bronz-, ezüst-,aranyvasárnap — “Bronze, Silver, Gold Sunday”

To hear the pronunciation of each vocabulary word, and read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Hungarian Bronze, Silver, Gold Sunday word list!

Final Thoughts

The four Sundays leading to Christmas Eve. are sacred, fun, and festive. Does your country have any special celebrations for Christmas or other winter holidays? Tell us about them in the comments section!

If you’re interested in learning more about Hungarian culture, or want to learn more words for the holidays and wintertime, you may find the following pages useful:

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Happy Hungarian learning! :)

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