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Farsang

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devils

The Mohács Busójárás is one of the highest anticipated Farsang events in Hungary. Mohács is a good three-hour drive from Mamaison Hotel Andrassy, and about two and a half hours from Mamaison Residence Izabella, but it is all worth the trip if you want to see authentic Hungarian traditions.

The program for the 2017 edition of the Busójárás festival has already been announced, as many visitors plan their trips to Hungary to see the event early. It is wise to book your hotel early too, to take advantage of the early bird offer with Mamaison.

The festival kicks off on February 23, in the morning, at 9:00 am, with preparations for the youth center, and a wealth of activities for children. The carnival procession on the route Táncsics utca – Szabadság utca – Széchenyi tér starts at 15:30. The day ends with traditional dances at Duna Irodaházban- Szabadság u.4-6.

The second day at the carnival starts at 13:00 and features contests, folk dance groups, live folk music, the „Busók és Jankelék” drawing competition, an exhibition of folk art objects at Kossuth Filmszínházban, followed by a concert (admission charge) featuring guitarist Szörényi Levente, and a concert by the Slavic dance orchestra at the same address mentioned above.

Saturday is full of exciting events, starting early, at 9:00. Among these, don’t miss the Serbian cultural gastronomy, folk dances in the Serbian Church yard; dances and presentations of Busós masks at Szechenyi Square; mask-carving demonstrations, carnival games, and chariot decorations at Síp utcában; wreath-laying at the statue of the three soldiers in Széchenyi Square; plus other events revolving around the Busós tradition.

The popular art and craft fair opens Sunday, February 26 at 9:00 am – this is the most interesting part for tourists who want to leave Hungary with something handmade, culturally representative, and valuable. The prices are competitive and attractive, as the purpose of the festival is to promote local heritage and values.

A note for foreign women attending the festival: traditionally, Busós dance kóló with the girls and the women, and make inappropriate jokes. Do not feel offended, though: this is not personal, it’s tradition.

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Budapest in winter

Farsang, the carnival season in Hungary, kicked off January 6, and will last till February 10, just before the Fat Thursday (Torkos Csütörtök). It is a special time for the locals, but also for tourists who can attend a variety of events that celebrate authentic local traditions. Among these, you shouldn’t miss the Busójárás in Mohács, which is well worth it the day trip from Budapest.

This end-of-winter festival takes place at the beginning of February, from the 4th till the 9th. The festival was added to UNESCO’s representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009.

devils

The “devils” (Busós) take to the streets of Mohács: fantastic, pagan creatures, who play and dance. There’s music and dance, plus a great choice of local delicacies to tame your hunger, plus busópálinka for the daring ones. This is not only an occasion to party: it is believed that the Busós scare off the winter cold. There will be many interesting events, including pipers and Buso demonstrations, followed by a Busó boat crossing of the Danube. The main amphitheater is set in Széchenyi tér. This is where you can see folk dances, and live folk performances. Here is where the Busós come on horses and on carts, gathering to start the free carnival.

If you are a woman, this celebration may appear a bit strange for you, because one of the main occupations of the Busós is to tease women. The Busós also dance kóló with the girls and the women, and their jokes are not always “appropriate.” Do not feel offended, though: this is not personal, it’s tradition. Embrace the spirit of the party, and have fun. You will never know who is behind the mask of the Busó – it can be anyone. A true Busó never reveals his identity.