The traditional ritual year which was characterized by Christian feasts for centuries on one hand, and the cosmological, agrarian (economic), individual, family, and local communal holidays on the other, has been rapidly changing between 1945 and 1956 during the first Socialist/Communist years. A new system of the ritual year was established according to the new ideology and power situation: the so-called Socialist ritual year. It was characterized by international, Soviet and national-communist feasts, refusing the religious holidays. Some softening were introduced only after the 1956 Hungarian revolution. The main Christian feasts were again accepted (Christmas, Easter). This Socialist period with its Socialist feasts lasted for 45 years when in 1989/1990 the legal power system was changed.After the elction in 1990 the totalitarian Socialist ideology with its symbolic holidays has mostly disappeared. New national feasts were created e.g. the memorial day of the 1956 revolution which was a prohibited alternative feast during the Socialist period. Patriotic holidays have regained their importance. The symbols of the feasts have been totally changed. The traditional Christian ritual year has been partly restored, but in a rather secularized society. Christmas, Easter have been commercionalized. Local feasts have emerged which serve first of all the restoration of the civil society and express the local identity.The paper deals with the process of changes in Hungary showing the role of the holidays and the ritual year in society.
The paper deals bascally wth the mutual interference of politcs and relgon. It gives a short historical overview based on European and Hungarian examples and tries to shape the dominance of them in different ages and fields (heretic movements, Reformation, Counter-Reformation, spiritual movements, Christian politics, political Cathol cism, etc.). It describes how religious symbols or quasireligious symbols can be/are used in politics as expressions for social and power efforts. It s deal ng with the role of religion in naton-building in the past and present, with the role and format on of religous parties, of national and politcal myths.
The paper is dealing with new forms of writings. The inscription books, found in a hospital in Budapest, contain shorter or longer texts of patients who say thanks to doctors and nurses for helping in regaining their health. The inscription books and their texts are regarded by the author as special form of communication, ritualized way of thanksgiving. The motivation of the rite can be found in a search for safety and stability, in a feeling of compensation.
Sándor Bálint was an important representative of ethnography in Hungary in the 20th century. In many respects his work is unique: in its themes and from the geographical and methodological viewpoints. His research strengthened and fully developed ethnology of religion, while through his work the peasant and bourgeois culture of the town of Szeged and its vicinity are the best known in Hungary. He was a very prolific writer. This short article can give only brief glimpses of his work.
In Hungary in the last 20-30
years the traditional mass pilgrimages, mainly by bus, organised by parishes
within village or town frames have almost disappeared. A special form of
pilgrimage can now be observed: pilgrimages made on foot by small groups from
narrower social, age or occupational groups. The recent paper examines two of
these pilgrimages and groups, on the basis of interviews conducted with the
leaders and written sources. The first one is a youth pilgrimage and is
organised and led by Franciscans between August 15-20. The other pilgrimage on
foot is organised by a group of highly qualified, middle-aged Budapest
intellectuals. They do not reach the goal by walking continuously but in stages
of 18-25 km covered on every second Saturday of the month. Pilgrimage on foot
brings together people. Self-restraint plays a big role in the Franciscan youth
pilgrimage. Community building is important for both groups. These pilgrimages
can become the most important compensative rites of man today.
The Living Rosary Association, a renewed form of the rosary confraternity, was principally an association of the peasantry and lower social strata in Hungary. The paper presents and interprets the confraternity practice of a settlement (Kunszentmárton, Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County on the Hungarian Great Plain), through confraternity minutes (1851-1940), the fraternity's religious literature and journal, interviews and comparison with other fraternities. The rosary was principally a form of female devotion. However, up to the 1940s the leaders were men. The high degree of feminisation can be interpreted in the frame of the process of secularisation. In the course of the processes of economic, social and cultural modernisation, the tasks of the private sphere within the family (running the household, raising children) fell to women. Within this frame they also provided for the family's sacral world. Until the 1940s the rosary confraternity preserved its character as a women's mass movement. At the turn of the 19th-20th century the prayer groups were organised on a family and neighbourhood basis. The confraternity also established its own funeral society, linking the living and the dead in prayer. Among the reasons for the popularity of the rosary were its democratic nature and the clear religious goals: it provided the faithful with an institutional frame for their charitable activity; it set readily understandable and easily performed tasks for its members; it required the acceptable co-ordination of individual and communal forms of religious practice. The prayer had a flexible spatial and temporal structure, that is, the prayers could be said at any time and anywhere, even during work. This ensured for devotions a required intimacy but at the same time also a communal character. We have a tendency in research to regard the religious confraternities only as a sociological and cultural phenomenon, forgetting the transcendental aspects they have for members. Besides the few characteristics mentioned so far, membership of the rosary confraternity offered and still offers its members the possibility of salvation through the certainty of faith. This gives the members the security of hope for the future.