Thanks to the weeks of rehearsals, the barges were in place by 18:00 and the celebrations began at 19:30 with a spectacular flypast of Hungarian Defence Forces fighters, the pinnacle of the show being the “Fire and Lights” display at 21:00.

The fireworks display was more complex than last year, with a special light and drone show, a unique light painting, and a short film to showcase the story. This year again we saw a large-scale light and drone show with four times as many drones than last year. This dynamic display included the Holy Crown and the image of our founding king, King Stephen.

During the festive spectacle, 40,000 pyrotechnic effects, Roman candles, comets, fire pearls and firework bombs were launched from two bridges, barges, and pontoons in Budapest, from a total of 74 launch sites. In addition to the familiar but always exciting fireworks, the organisers also added new symbols to reflect the content of the historical show, such as a Hungarian rosette, the moon, and the stars. The launches were controlled by a specially designed, fully tamper-proofed computer with digitally coded trigger signals.

Apart from the date of the fireworks, the weekend of 20 August also had a great turnout, with tens of thousands of people taking part in the St Stephen's Day programmes at almost 20 venues. Despite the bad weather, the capital's hotels and accommodations recorded a total of 104,000 guest nights, exceeding last year's figures.

The St Stephen's Day fireworks display has a long historical tradition. The first fireworks display to celebrate the founding of the state dates back to 1829, and we have celebrated Hungary's birthday, the founding of the state with this spectacular parade every year since in 1966.

For those who were unable to follow the fireworks live this year, the full fireworks display can be watched here.