Unusual Traditions Across The World : Lomtalanítás or “Clearing out day”


This unusual yet exciting tradition from Budapest will leave you astounded! Lomtalanítás literally means “getting rid of junk” and we’ll tell you all about it! It is an yearly celebrated tradition and the dates are designated by the government itself.

Unusual Traditions Across The World : Lomtalanítás or “Clearing out day”

Lomtalanítás or the “Clearing out day” in an age old Hungarian tradition from the communist era in which, every year on a government designated day, the residents of Budapest discard all the trash on unwanted stuff from their houses onto the streets for the needy to scavenge from, for free.

What is the reason behind this tradition?

Unusual Traditions Across The World : Lomtalanítás or “Clearing out day”

Apart from customary relevance, it is also a way for people to get their ‘junk’ cleared and an opportunity for the ones in need who could benefit from someone’s discarded belongings. It holds a lot of value in their culture and is highly regarded. This tradition hold an exquisite and unusual value and would definitely amaze you.

What all is thrown away in the clearance?

Unusual Traditions Across The World : Lomtalanítás or “Clearing out day”

Residents of Budapest put out items that are longer of any use to them, mostly including clothes, utensils, old electronics, books, toys, furniture, broken or damaged goods, etc. 

The whole city looks like a jumble or garage sale. It is grander and better in relatively posh areas but is prevalent throughout the city.

What does the city look like on this day?

Well, imagine a flea market!

People from all across the city attend this festival in search of anything and everything in the junk. There are certain ‘professional’ groups of seekers who systematically go through all the garbage and pick out valuables to sell later so that sometimes you’ll see certain streets blocked by people even before the sale begins to establish control. There are people who make their living through the clearing out day festivities.

A website, welovebudapest.com, reported an incident of people finding a ‘torn-and-taped-together black-and-white passport photo of a woman contained within a humbly dignified miniature frame, apparently the only image of a long-gone loved one kept for decades before the picture’s owner passed away”. the debate around whether to preserve the picture and continue to keep it as a memoir most likely didn’t end in favour, leading to it getting dumped as ‘junk’ for the sale.

Pros vs. Cons

Presently, even though it is an ancient tradition, the government is thinking about scraping this day off from their calendar because of two main reasons.

Firstly, it is because people believe that adequate disposal of obsolete items is essential and should be the responsibility of the owner of that junk and not the state and secondly, to avoid the unpleasant sight of seeing people scavenge through the junk all day.

Although, this tradition holds importance in the Hungarian history and putting an end to this tradition that does humanitarian service for the less privileged and the ones who are in need and marking and end to this is just like marking an end to a very important chapter in history and so many memories with it and we are not sure whether that’s the right thing to do.


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