Name days in Hungary are very popular, often as much as a person’s actual birthdate. A woman is typically given flowers on her name day by acquaintances, including in the workplace, and the price of flowers often rises around the dates of popular names because of demand. However a bottle of alcohol is a common gift for men on their name day and cakes are also given as a treatment for the celebrators. Children frequently bring sweets to school to celebrate their name days.
Name days are more often celebrated than birthdays in workplaces, presumably because it is simpler to know the date since most calendars contain a list of name days. You can also find the name day on daily newspapers by the date and on Hungarian websites. Some highly popular names have several name days; such as István-Steve, János-John, Joseph-József, Elisabeth Erzsébet-Mária- in that case, the person chooses on which day he or she wishes to celebrate. The list of the name days is, as usual in name day celebrating cultures, based on the traditional Catholic saints’ feasts, but the link of the secular name days calendar to the Catholic calendar is not maintained any more (For example, even religious Catholic people named Gergely (Gregory) after Pope Gregory the Great still celebrate their name days on 12 March however the Church celebrates on 3 of September)
In Hungary for the name day the most popular treatment is to offer rétes-strudel with sweet soft quark cheese or apple and poppy fillings. The traditional Hungarian strudel pastry is different from the strudels elsewhere, which are often made from puff pastry. The traditional strudel pastry dough is very elastic. It is made from flour with a high gluten content, water, oil and salt, with no sugar added. The dough is worked vigorously, rested, and then rolled out and stretched by hand very thinly with the help of a clean linen tea towel or kitchen paper. Purists say that it should be so thin that you can read a newspaper through it. A legend has it that the Austrian Emperor’s perfectionist cook decreed that it should be possible to read a love letter through it. The thin dough is laid out on a tea towel, and the filling is spread on it. The dough with the filling on top is rolled up carefully with the help of the tea towel and baked in the oven.
Apple strudel consists of an oblong strudel pastry jacket with an apple filling inside. The filling is made of grated cooking apples (usually of a tart, crisp and aromatic variety, sugar, cinnamon, raisins and bread crumbs. Strudel uses an unleavened dough. The basic dough consists of flour, butter and salt although as a household recipe, many variations exist. Apple strudel dough is a thin, elastic dough, the traditional preparation of which is a difficult process. The dough is kneaded by flogging, often against a table top. Dough that appears thick or lumpy after flogging is generally discarded and a new batch is started. After kneading, the dough is rested, then rolled out on a wide surface, and stretched until the dough reaches a thickness similar to phyllo. Cooks say that a single layer should be so thin that one can read a newspaper through it. Filling is arranged in a line on a comparatively small section of dough, after which the dough is folded over the filling, and the remaining dough is wrapped around until all the dough has been used. The strudel is then oven baked, and served warm. Toppings of whipped cream, custard, or vanilla sauce are popular in many countries. Apple strudel can be accompanied by tea, coffee or even champagne, and is one of the most common treats at Viennese cafés!
Coming popular names day: Susanne 19 th February, Mathew 24 February, Thomas 7 of March, Gregory 12 of March, Alexander 18th of March, Joseph 19th of March Benedict 21 of March…