Each year the community commemorates historical and national days:
1848-49 Revolution and Uprising against the Habsburg dynasty
The Treaty of Trianon - the tragic and unjust dismemberment of Hungary after WW1
National Day of Hungary, and Saint Stephen, first Christian king of Hungary
1956 Uprising against the Soviet occupation
On these occasions wreaths are also laid at the memorial.
The beautiful Szent István Ecumenical church enables Hungarians of the Catholic, Reformed and Lutheran faiths to observe their Christian beliefs and traditions. Catholic services are held each Sunday at 8.30 am. Reformed Church services are held on the first and third Sunday at 11am and Lutheran services are on the fourth Sunday of each month at 10.30am.
The parkland in the Community Centre is perfect for holding outdoor activities such as picnics and commemorations at the Commemorative Memorial. A beautiful bust of the heroic General János Damjanich, a generous gift in 2007 from the János Bolyai Military Foundation in Hungary, is positioned in the memorial park. A number of trees have been planted in the park by distinguished visitors such as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (2000) and President László Sólyom (2009).
Hungarofest, is the biggest Hungarian cultural festival outside of Hungary. The festival includes an exhibition of the rich cultural heritage, authentic Hungarian cuisine and entertainment with local and overseas artists.
The annual gulyás cooking (goulash soup) competition has become a very popular event. The income from the event is directed to a youth fund which is used to bring professional folk dance instructors Tamás Farkas (2009) and Árpád Kiss (2011) from Hungary.
The internationally awarded choreographer/producer János Quittner has produced three outstanding productions with local young performers: István a király (Stephen the king) in 1996; the 2006 Pro Patria, Pro Libertate, commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the 1956 Uprising, also performed in Melbourne’s Federation Square; and “Megfeszitett” (The Crucified) rock-opera in 2009. These extremely high quality productions received an enthusiastic response.
Several well known artists from Hungary have performed over the years at the Hungarian Community Centre. In 2000 as a Millennium present from Hungary to Australia, the Honvéd Dance Theatre's members performed and then conducted folk dance workshops for young dancers. Other visiting performers have included Marika Oswald, Miklós Hidvégi, Edit Gárdonyi, András Farkas, György Korda, Klára Balázs, Ottilia Máté, Kati Kovács, Attila Pataki, József Jankovits, Valér Hegedus, Marika Németh, Bon Bon, McHawer and Tekkno, Irigy Honaljmirigy, Ferenc Kaczor, Sándor Déki Lakatos and his gypsy band, the Budapest Puppet Theatre, Ifjuszivek Dance Ensemble, Kamila Dévai-Nagy, Antal Szalai and his gypsy band, Bálint Dömsödi-Farkas, Judit Molnár.
Many dignitaries have visited the Hungarian Community Centre, including Presidents Árpád Göncz and László Sólyom and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Other distinguished politicians include Géza Jeszenszky, János Martonyi, Béla Kádár, Gyula Kiss, Elemér Gergátz, Ibolya Dávid, Zsolt Németh, János Áder. Other notable guests have included the Reverend dr. László Tokés, Kálmán Csiha and Csaba Böjte from Transylvania.
The Hungarofest is held every 2 years over a weekend. It is an exciting time, allowing members of both the Hungarian Community and the wider community to come together for gastronomy, music , dancing, cultural exhibitions, wine appreciation, childrens events and much more.
The next Hungarofest is scheduled February 2021.
It is a time when the Hungarians can proudly display their traditions and beautiful folklore, costumes and lively music. Guests can savour the culinary prowess of the cooks and then wash it down with a little something from the bar. When hunger pangs are satisfied and thirst quenched, visitors may browse in the cultural collection. They might find paintings of interest, valuable old books, stunning porcelain, information about Hungarian Nobel laureates and scientists and inventors, outstanding displays of regional Hungarian handiworks and embroideries. Others might like to relax in the beer garden or partake of coffee and cake. It is a weekend when we forget about the inches and enjoy the dazzling array of delectable cakes for which Hungary is justifiably renowned. The more energetic will feel the draw of the music, put on their dancing shoes and show their skills on the dance floor.