The Hungarians are well known for their food and you will find yourself enjoying plenty of home cooked meals on your vacation. To go along with the meals there will also plenty of drinks while the locals share stories of anything and everything. For this reasons it’s good to have a basic understanding of some popular terms to fit right into their culture. The last thing you want to do is be impolite or rude by not understanding how their society works.
Cheers in Hungarian
Egészségedre – When offered a drink, especially pálinka, you must accept it. Locals do like to make their own wine so you will be in for a treat if you go over to someones house. The only time you won’t get a cheers is if you are drinking beer. Back in the 1840’s hen Austria defeated the Habsburgs, they celebrated by clinking their beers. Because of this Hungary dismissed toasting with beer and said they wouldn’t do it for at least 150 years. The tradition still holds true today and no Hungarian will cheers you unless it’s wine or alcohol.
During toasting someone it is also considered rude if you don’t look them directly in the eyes. You’ll noticed Hungarians will be fixated on you the entire time so make sure you return the favor. After the cheers it will then be time to sit back and listen as generally the locals will talk your ear off for the next couple hours about the history of their great country.
Summary of Hungarian Cheers Drinking Toasts
In Hungary, toasts are an important part of any drinking event. The toast is usually done with a shot glass filled with palinka, a traditional Hungarian fruit brandy. Toasting is seen as a way to honor the person or occasion and create fellowship among those present. Toastmasters are often chosen in advance who will lead the group in toasting each other throughout the night.
Customary greetings include:
- “Egészségedre” (Cheers) or “Koccintásra” (Here’s to us)
- “Legyen sok boldogságunk” (“May we have lots of happiness”)
- “Életünk legyen tele örömökkel” (“Let our life be filled with joy”)
- “Isten éltessen bennünket!” (“God bless us all!”)
- “A barátságnak örökké tartson!” (“May friendship last forever!”)