Edited by Anna Popper

On the occasion of the National Day H.E. Alfonso Dastis Quecedo, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain to Hungary and Mrs Marisa Alonso hosted a diplomatic reception at the magnificent Áurea Ana Palace Hotel in Budapest, a historical building with a rich and fascinating past in the heart of the city. The event was attended by high officials of the Hungarian government, including the Guest of Honour, Mr. Levente Magyar, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as representatives from cultural, academic and business circles, members of the diplomatic corps, Spanish nationals living in Hungary and many other invitees.

Spain celebrates National Day on 12 October every year, marking the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492. This day is also known as Columbus Day and is commonly referred to worldwide as Día de la Hispanidad, commemorating the discovery of the Americas. While Columbus set sail to find a direct sea route from Europe to Asia across the Atlantic Ocean, he landed in the New World 531 years ago. This voyage opened the Age of Exploration and Discovery, which had far-reaching historical consequences in economic and cultural terms. This is a date of great importance for Spain’s global influence and legacy, as Spain is a treasure trove of fascinating traditions and practices, has several key aspects defining its unique cultural identity, and has made significant contributions to world history. Moreover, Spain is the birthplace of the third most widely spoken language around the world, Spanish is the official language in 21 countries and continues to shape global communication.

The evening dedicated to the National Day celebration started with the national anthems of Spain and Hungary,

and was followed by the Head of Mission’s address in Spanish:

“Jó estét kívánok, buenas tardes, good evening. Thank you for coming to this reception celebrating the National Day of Spain. Today is a holiday unfortunately overshadowed by two events that deserve our firm condemnation: the continued invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the atrocious terrorist attacks against Israel. I wish for a prompt restoration of peace in both regions in full respect for International Law.

As I was saying, we are here to celebrate the National Holiday of Spain in a partner and friendly country with which we have close relations, which have also intensified this year given the responsibility we share, of leading the Council of the European Union in a trio of Presidencies, together with Belgium. We have managed to agree on a program aimed at protecting EU citizens and their interests and values in these turbulent times, and I congratulate ourselves on this.

Today I would like to emphasize the depth of our relationships, the areas that are closer to people’s daily lives, to education, to culture and, in general, to human relations. In a country so rich in culture, we do our best to contribute our grain of sand and we are in particular very satisfied with the growing interest of the Hungarian people in Spanish, the third most spoken language in the world, and for its diffusion we have the invaluable help of the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America, whom I specially would like to greet today.

But beyond that, today in Hungary, in Budapest, you can drive a Spanish car or one with important Spanish components, or travel on a tram made in Spain, go shopping in Spanish fashion stores on Fashion Street or Váci utca and take a break in the café of a Spanish hotel like this one, tasting a delicious Mangalica ham.

And when winter gets harsh, you can take a flight to one of the twelve Spanish destinations directly connected to Budapest for sun and good tapas. By the way, you can enjoy not only sun and gastronomy, but also history and culture in a country with the second largest number of historical and artistic heritage sites on the UNESCO list, or biosphere reserves.

In short, I hope to further deepen the closeness and friendship between the Hungarian and Spanish people, for which I trust to continue counting on the support and cooperation of the Hungarian authorities.

Before concluding, I cannot fail to thank the sponsors who have contributed to making this celebration possible: Cupra Automobiles, La Liga, Talgo, Tokaj Oremus, Monte Nevado, Vinos Castillo and, of course, this hotel and the Eurostars chain.

Thank you all very much, köszönöm szépen.”

The official part continued with the congratulatory remarks of the Guest of Honour, Mr. Levente Magyar, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. On behalf of the Hungarian Government, he expressed best wishes to the Ambassador and the people of Spain on the occasion of the momentous anniversary. He emphasized the strong ties and multifaceted cooperation between Spain and Hungary in various domains, including the upcoming EU Council Trio Presidency of Spain, Belgium and Hungary. He praised Spain’s remarkable achievements as a significant economic power, which further solidified its position as a dynamic and forward-thinking nation, in addition to its cultural influence in the world.

The evening ended with a fantastic reception, offering delicious Spanish specialties of their world famous gastronomy including paella, excellent wines including the Spanish owned Tokaj Oremus wines and fine desserts to enjoy, all that contributed to a truly memorable event.

Source: Embassy of Spain in Budapest

Photos by Dávid Harangozó and DPA