6 days ago
"I respectfully salute the world's Hungarians on the birthday of Hungarian freedom," Orbán wrote in the message published by national news agency MTI on the eve of national day.
March 15th, 1848 marked the beginning of a year-long revolution and civil war against the Habsburg rule. While it was eventually crushed by the combined armies of the Austrian and Russian Empire, it is a key component of modern Hungarian identity and while subsequent regimes tried to spin its message their own way, not even the Communist rule dared to sweep it under the rug.
"March 15th is the symbol of freedom, national independence and cohesion," Orbán wrote. "To this day, it teaches us that we can only win if we proudly acknowledge our language, culture and national symbols. Today, just as in 1848, it remains true that strong and self-confident nations working in concert for their future can withstand imperial threats."
The day's official celebrations began in the morning with the hoisting of the national flag in front of Parliament, followed by a Hussar parade from Parliament to the Budapest National Museum where Orbán delivered his festive speech on the same stairs where the revolutionaries announced their 12 demands to the Vienna Imperial court.