TOP 5 weirdest Hungarian habits


From loud nose-blowing in public to serving up testicle stew after pig slaughter, it’s safe to say that there are some rather peculiar yet fascinating habits that take place in Hungary. In this article, we will share the top 5 weirdest Hungarian habits that leave foreigners baffled when they first visit the country.

Hungarian homes are no-shoe zones

Oh, that look of pure horror on your host’s face when you’re about to walk into their living room with your shoes on! Hungarians are meticulously keen on keeping a clean and tidy home. Shoes have no place on the delicate carpet of your host’s late grandma nor on their pink and fluffy bathroom rug. When you’re invited to a Hungarian home, make sure to respect this local habit and remove your shoes upon arrival. You’ll be surely rewarded for it with an extra shot of palinka! 


Loud nose blowing in public

Hungarians do love a trumpet-y nose-blowing, even in public, and they much rather engage in that than spend the day suffering from a runny nose. Among families, there is an unsaid competition to see who can outdo the honking sounds that come with it. Another unusual thing for foreigners is Hungarians’ general avoidance of using paper hankies. Most locals still remember the times when they were sent to school with neatly ironed, embroidered handkerchiefs. These customs stay with us no matter the passing of time. 

Surprising holiday traditions

Ok, but what’s with Santa Claus, you may ask? Didn’t he get the memo and come earlier than he was supposed to? It’s true that Santa surprises us on 6 December in Hungary while the day of Christmas is associated with Jesus’s visit. Once you get over the confusion, you will be quick to realize the good sides of this weird Hungarian habit – more celebrations and gifts! Hungarian Easter traditions may also leave many foreigners staggered, especially when they first learn that it’s not only ok to throw a bucket of water on women on this day but the men of the village even get rewarded with painted eggs and chocolate candies.


Pig slaughter

Let’s be real: nothing can prepare you mentally for the shocking sights of your very first pig slaughter in Hungary. Locals get up at 3 am and, and by the crack of dawn, they have already gulped down a weekly unit of homemade palinka. Hungarians don’t let any part of the animal go to waste but devour the whole pig from the trotters to the testicles. Of course, not in one sitting. Hungarian cuisine is widely known for its rich variety of meat dishes. Unless you are a vegetarian, you will be delighted to try all the delicacies that will arrive at your table after the famous Hungarian pig slaughter.


Odd yet wonderful traditional dishes

From cold and sweet soups as starters to greyish bread crumbs soaked in a sticky gooey pudding (a.k.a mákos guba), Hungarian cuisine is full of weird but mouthwateringly delicious gastro creations. Locals are no big fans of salads but rather take their daily five in the form of pottage. Foreigners who are used to more subtle tastes might be first overwhelmed by the intense flavors of Hungarian dishes. Locals are also known for their love of paprika and garlic and don’t spare these two ingredients when it comes to cooking.



– Eleonora Jobst –

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