Throughout the year, Hungary has many festivals and cultural events. Some, like the Budapest International Wine and Champagne Festival and Debrecen Jazz Days, are aimed at sophisticated tastes. Others, such as the Balaton Festival in Keszthely and the Winged Dragon Week International Street Theatre Festival in Nyirbator are all about fun. Here are some of the celebrations that visitors to Hungary can take part in
Hungarian Festivals and Events – Budapest International Wine and Champagne Festival
Hungarian wine may not have the same pull as French or Italian vintages, or the ubiquity of Australian drops, but when it’s good it tends to be very good. For wine-lovers wanting to avoid the plonk and drink the best Hungarian wines, the Budapest International Wine and Champagne Festival is heaven. Held around the Castle District in the national capital, the best Hungarian wine-makers set up shop and give out samples, hoping that visitors will leave with bags full of clunking bottles. The festival is held in September every year. Other festivals in Budapest include the Budapest Spring Festival, the Budapest Early Music Forum and the Opera Ball.
Hungarian Festivals and Events – Debrecen Jazz Days
Held every September, this is Hungary’s biggest jazz festival. It attracts saxophonists, pianists and other top musicians from all over the world, and concerts take place in venues all across the city. Debrecen is Hungary’s second largest city, and is the major hub of the Eastern Plain. Other cultural events held there include the Masquerade Carnival in February and the Floral Carnival that takes place in August.
Hungarian Festivals and Events – Balaton Festival in Keszthely
The Balaton Festival, held to usher in the summer season on Lake Balaton, is a curious mix of arts. Amongst classical music concerts in the more upmarket venues, there will also be open air pop and rock gigs from local and international performers, while the streets are filled with jugglers, human statues and other street performers. The Balaton takes place in Keszthely, on the south-western tip of Hungary’s biggest lake, every May.
Hungarian Festivals and Events – Winged Dragon Week International Street Theatre Festival
If there are plenty of street performers during the Balaton Festival, then at the Winged Dragon Week International Street Festival, the town of Nyirbator is absolutely crawling with them in July. Fire-eaters, chainsaw jugglers and other assorted clowns flock to the normally sleepy community. Expect plenty of puppetry and musicians playing all manner of bizarre instruments.