The 31st of December has been the last day of the year only since the 17th century. In Hungary, New Year’s Eve is called Szilveszter, after Pope Sylvester I (314-335).
In Hungary, New Year’s Eve is called Szilveszter
, after Pope Sylvester I
(314-335). During his service, he strived to improve the public position of the church in Rome. Among others, the construction of the Holy Cross (Santa Croce
) basilica, a Roman equivalent of the sacred places of Jerusalem, is linked to his name. According to legend, he once healed the deadly ill Emperor Constantine by advising him to take a bath in a tub filled with blood. Upon healing, the Emperor converted to Christianity.
The 31st of December has been the last day of the year only since the 17th century
. In some villages it was believed that animals speak in human voices on this day. It was forbidden to hang out clothes, because if they did so someone from the family would hang himself.
Instead of having bacchanals, people went to church to bury the old year. In Transylvania a straw-puppet was buried, symbolizing the death and burial of the year passed.
Along the river Galga a so-called Onion-calendar
was made. Twelve skins of onion were strewn with salt, and placed on the shoulder of the beehive oven. Each onion skin symbolized a month of the year. The onion skin on which the salt melted by the next morning predicted a month with much rain.