Christmas in Budapest
Christmas in Budapest is magnificent. We have some very good Christmas markets and decorations in the city. We usually drink hot wine and buy street food and chimney cake to eat. Sadly, it is very cold in Budapest by this time, so we cannot hang out outside for a long time. Sometimes, they have small ice-skating rinks and an animal stable set up in the Christmas markets, so small children can enjoy themselves too. Hand-made cosmetics, bags and small gifts are sold but because of how touristic Budapest and our markets have become, food and products are highly overpriced for an average Hungarian.
Four weeks before Christmas, on Sunday, families light the first candle on the Advent wreath, and then they proceed to light an extra candle every coming Sunday, until on Christmas Eve all candles are lit. It is common to buy Christmas calendars for children, mostly they are filled with chocolate and you have to open one pocket a day.
The biggest difference compared to other countries that I have heard of, is the 6th of December. In Hungary, that is the day Santa Claus visits every home during the night and gifts chocolate to the good kids and gives a small whip for bad children. In my family, we clean our boots and leave it close to the door, so he can leave the presents in them. Some people leave cookies and milk for him.
I definitely recommend visiting Budapest before and during Christmas time, if you are very lucky, you might even get to see snow!