Markets in Hungary have roots running centuries deep and it is no coincidence that the Hungarian word Sunday literally translates as “market day.” The etymology of the word commemorates the fact that King Saint Stephen ordered weekly fairs and markets to be held on Sunday, making it a holiday. Certain Hungarian settlement names also reflect their own weekly fairs and markets in their names, the prime example being the town of Szombathely (“Szombat” translates to Saturday, the day of the weekly fair and market held in the town). Incidentally, the marketplaces were not only venues for shopping, but also served as the settings of a vibrant community life where people could learn about local news. Despite the proliferation of shopping malls and supermarkets today, traditional marketplaces and flea markets are now back in vogue, with more and more people returning to the high-quality goods offered by local farmers and producers. Here is our list of four reasons you might want to join the camp of marketgoers.
While in malls and hypermarkets you will see new faces behind the counter and at the checkout every time, the same vendors at the marketplaces will greet you as long-term friends. This shopping experience can be a perfect break from mundane everyday life as, in addition to being greeted at the stalls with friendly smiles, you will know exactly where the fresh fruits and vegetables that will end up on your plate actually come from. And you’ll mostly be walking outdoors, instead of under cold neon lights.