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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Hungary, Lesson 22 - Advent
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Hungary Series at HungarianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Hungarian holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 22, Advent. In Hungarian, it’s called advent.
How is it possible that one candle on the Advent wreath may be fully burned, but the other is untouched? What do purple and pink colors mean on the Advent wreath? If you’d like to know the answer, stay with us and learn a little about Advent in Hungary.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?
What does the Hungarian proverb "long as the creation of Luca's chair" mean?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
On the fourth Sunday before Christmas, Christian Hungarians light the first purple candle, or lila gyertya, on the Advent wreath; this symbolizes the beginning of the long wait for Christmas. The four-week-period before Christmas is called Advent in Christian culture; it means "the time of coming". Of course the “coming” referred to here is a reference to the birth of Jesus Christ. At this time, many families make Advent wreaths, in Hungarian called adventi koszorúk, from pine branches and four candles. Three of the candles are purple, each symbolizing faith, or hit, hope, or remény and love, or szeretet. The final candle is pink and stands for joy, öröm. The candles are lit one by one each Sunday until the Sunday before Christmas.
The four Sundays before Christmas are also known as Bronze, Silver and Golden Sundays in Hungary. These names are not only important for religious reasons, but also for consumer society. On these Sundays, shops targeting the wallets of the masses close later, and shop assistants do their best to sell all the products they think are indispensable for Christmas.
Making a Luca's chair is also a popular tradition during Advent on the day of Luca, December 13. The chair, or szék, is usually made of nine different types of wood, and if young lads succeed to smuggle it into the church under their coat, it is said that they can see witches on the midnight mass of December 26 if they stand on it. But after seeing the witches, the boys usually run away in fear. To protect themselves, the lads need to bring poppy seeds to scatter on the road during their escape. It is believed that if they do so, the witches will stop to collect poppy seeds, thereby allowing the lads to escape.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
What does the Hungarian proverb "long as the creation of Luca's chair" mean?
To make a proper Luca's chair, one must work on it for thirteen days, and can only perform one operation per day. So if something is made haltingly and over a long time, Hungarians will say that it lasts as "long as the creation of Luca's chair".
Did you like this lesson? Did you learn any interesting facts?
How do you prepare for Christmas?
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