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"There are only two ways to live
your life. One is as if nothing is a miracle. The other is, as if everything is a miracle."

--Albert Einstein

Budapest, St. Stephen's Day, 2007

Aug20.jpg

It is the signal of summer's end when the nation prepares for the celebration of its founder's day - St. Stephen.

Stephen was born around AD 970. He was elected in 997 and was crowned king in Esztergom on Christmas in 1000. His crown was a gift by Pope Sylvester II. During his reign, St. Stephen created the Christian Hungarian Kingdom from the Hungarian tribes, and strengthened the Church in Hungary exceedingly.

As a result of his efforts, Hungary became a strong state and a protector of Western Europe during the Medieval Ages. On the 20th of August, 1083 he was canonized, and became the patron of Hungary.

For the canonization procedure King Stephen’s remains were exhumed. A story remains that at this time his right hand was found as fresh as the day he was buried. Considering this a miracle, the hand was detached and placed in St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest where the mummified right hand of the first king of Hungary may still be viewed.

August 20th became Hungary’s national day until 1945 when Communist leaders prohibited celebrations due to the religious nature of the holiday. In 1990 the Hungarian Parliament declared the holiday to be restored and Hungary once again celebrates its founder's day on August 20th.

Remembering the sudden and tragic wind storm that caught celebrants unexpectedly, this year there are safety precautions of more guards, ambulances and large bulletin boards keeping the crowds informed in order to assure safety during the day long events and particularly during the fireworks.

Happy Birthday Hungary!

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The following list of on-line cookie recipes was making the circuits a few years back in Christmas mailers. I was fascinated by it then and still am so I thought I would share it with those of you who love cookies.

Chill the milk and let's begin.