Word of the day: Szilveszter

Happy new year!

Gellért Hotel New Year's banner 2013

Banner for a New Year (Szilveszter) celebration in Budapest.

Szilveszter: Hungarian word for Day 7 of the 12 days of Christmas, or December 31st. The feast of Saint Sylvester, an obscure but important 4th-century pope. He played a major role in the building of many now-famous Roman cathedrals and churches, and also in establishing a balance of power between the Church and the Emperor. December 31st marks the day of his burial.

In Scotland this day is known as Hogmanay. In Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland and Slovenia, New Years Eve is still referred to as Silvester.

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