Holiday of St. John

2018.12.27

On December 27th the new wine of the year is blessed in Hungary - and this blessing celebrated afterwards in good company.

Wine celebration in the culturehouse
Wine celebration in the culturehouse

According to an old legend John the Apostel drank a cup of poisoned wine, but blessed it with the Holy Cross beforehand and survived it without any problem. Since the 4th century a holiday exists to celebrate this miracle, and on this holiday the new wine of the year is blessed by the Church.

This holiday is celebrated with quite the grandeur in Vereb - because it feels like every second citizen makes their own wine.

And thus we gather late in the afternoon of the 27th of December, around sunset (which happens around 16:00 already) in the culturehouse. The vintners all brought a few bottles of their wines, food is commissioned by the municipality. The snacks are the same as we had during the grape harvest - there is kolbasz, bacon, tomatoes, paprika and red onion, together with bread and wine.

While the bottles are starting to get more and more empty the humours rise and a few of the older people start singing Hungarian Folk songs.

Because the day is dedicated to wine you can only refuse a refill when you already have a different wine in your glass. Which leads to me trying out a lot of different white, red and rosé wines, too, and being happy that my house is only a couple of minutes away on foot.