National symbols of Hungary

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Turul, the Hungarian mythical symbol
Old Hungarian script, the ancient Hungarian writing system

The national symbols of Hungary are flags, icons or cultural expressions that are emblematic, representative or otherwise characteristic of Hungary or Hungarian culture. The highly valued special Hungarian products and symbols are called Hungaricum.[1]

Flags and heraldy[edit]

The flag of Hungary is a horizontal tricolor of red, white and green. The coat of arms of the Árpád dynasty is also popular.

Flag of Hungary
Hungarian coat of arms
Hungarian revolution flag in front of the Hungarian Parliament Building
Coat of arms of the Árpád dynasty

Flora and fauna[edit]

Almost a fifth of the country is forested, however only 10 percent is natural forest.[2] Hungary is home to some 2200 flowering plant species and, because of its topography and transitional climate, many of them are not normally found at this latitude. Much of the flora in the Villány and Mecsek Hills in Southern Transdanubia, for example, is usually seen only around Mediterranean.[2] Here, at the southern Szársomlyó Hill of Villány Mountains, a formerly unknown plant was found and described for science in 1867 by the Hungarian botanist, Viktor Janka. This flower is the earliest blooming Hungarian flower, the Hungarian crocus, Colchicum hungaricum.
The salty Hortobágy region on the Eastern Plain has many plants normally found by the seashore, and the Nyírség area is famous for meadow flowers. The Gemenc forest on the Danube near Szekszárd, the Little Balaton in the centre of Transdanubia and the Tisza river backwater east of Kecskemét are all important wetlands.[2] Most of the trees in the nation's forested areas are deciduous (beech, oak and birch) only a small percentage are fir. Since the 14th century, over 250 new plants colonized Hungary, of which almost 70 are considered invasive.[2] Many such plants are perennial herbs, that have taken root on plants, causing some of the native flora to slowly disappear.[2]

Historically, Hungary was the second largest supplier of paprika to the USA.[3] Hungarian paprika has a distinctive flavor and is it great demand in Europe where it is used as a spice rather than as a coloring agent.[3]

Hungarian capsicum of Szeged
The Hungarian crocus, Colchicum hungaricum
Puli the Hungarian sheepdog
Hungarian buffalo in the buffalo reserve of Kápolnáspuszta, Zala county

People[edit]

Arrival of the Hungarians in the 9th century
Hungarian folk wrangler (csikós)
Hungarian authentic dance
Traditional Hungarian coppersmith master at work
Hungarian horse archer
Hungarian Hussars in Elsterwerda
Hungarian folk dance
Hungarian paprika vendor in Budapest
Traditional clothes of a Hungarian gulyás (herdsman)

Food and drink[edit]

Main article: Hungarian cuisine

The traditional Hungarian dishes abound in piquant flavors and aromas.[4] Dishes are flavorful, spicy and often rather heavy. Flavors of Hungarian dishes are based on centuries-old traditions in spicing and preparation methods.[4] The exquisite ingredients are produced by local agricultural and husbandry. Paprika, onion and garlic are to be found everywhere. In the Middle Ages the fish soup was the most popular and the most lovely fishmeal in Hungary.[4] A cookery book from 1860 contains 400 fish recipes.[4] The most well-known specialities of Hungarian cuisine such as goulash soup, the different varieties of stew and "paprikás" are red with paprika.[4]

Fresh made Lángos
A cold bottle of Unicum
The Tokaji wine, "Vinum Regum, Rex Vinorum" ("Wine of Kings, King of Wines")

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Report of a Working Group on Medicinal and Aromatic plants: first meeting 12-14 September 2002, Gozd Martuljek, Slovenia, 2004, p. 46
  2. ^ a b c d e Neal Bedford, Lonely Planet Hungary, Lonely Planet, 2009, p. 64
  3. ^ a b Niir Board,Handbook On Spices (Reprint Edition - 2010), National Institute Of Industrial Re, 2010, p. 101
  4. ^ a b c d e Teresa de Noronha Vaz, Peter Nijkamp, Jean-Louis Rastoin, Traditional food production and rural sustainable development: a European challenge, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2009, p. 106