How to slow down at Christmas 

Most Hungarians are still familiarizing themselves with the slow movement. There are slow restaurants and workshops on slow parenting, but this is probably the first time that slow Christmas has been widely celebrated in Budapest.

Ivett Körösi
Ivett Körösi Nepszava, Hungary
Source: Nepszava
How to slow down at Christmas  - NewsMavens
Christmas. Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

As I write these words, I am full of regret -- I wish I had enjoyed Christmas more! If my time management skills were not so poor, I could have visited the Christmas market and had a few mugs of mulled wine, I could have baked a tray of delicious mezeskalacs -- traditional Hungarian gingerbread cookies -- and well, I could have done better at decorating my home.

Instead of enjoying every minute of the preparations, the days leading up to Christmas were a hysterical race against time, filled with equally irritated people and endless queues.

Not for everyone, though.

Those who celebrate Christmas “slowly” made the most out of these days. Most Hungarians are still familiarizing themselves with the slow movement. There are slow restaurants and workshops on slow parenting, but this is probably the first time that slow Christmas has been widely celebrated in Budapest. 

Nepszava journalist embarked on an adventure and visited several initiatives organized by Hungarian followers of the movement. Three central streets of the capital "slowed down" this year -- Bartok Bela boulevard, Falk Miksa street and Raday street.

The aim was to offer people a more peaceful, mindful and quality alternative to the endless shopping and consuming.

How? With quite simple ideas that are often missing from our everyday lives. And by enjoying the activities that we sacrifice on the altar of time.

One such event was a poetry night, during which all attendants were required to bring their favorite poems. When no one was reading aloud, the guests were discussing literary gossip. In a matter of hours, strangers were chatting like old friends. 

Participants of another workshop made their own Christmas ornaments. Yet without a doubt, the most surprising initiative was the sauna set up inside a caravan home in the city center. 


I missed out on so many things! You might still have a chance to slow down during the holiday. If you want to know more about how Hungarians celebrate Christmas “slowly”, click on the article below.

Details from the story:

  • In Budapest, members of the Slow Movement organized several different initiatives so that Hungrians could experience Christmas “slowly”.
  • Gyorgy Orban, the organizer of the event, told Nepszava he is glad that slow Christmas is gaining popularity, especially, because “it is not as hard to come up with quality” programs as it seems. 
  • Among the initiatives was a “foodie roundtable”, concerts, activities for children, fundraising for charities and an alternative tour into the Francis of Assisi Church at Bakats square.
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