The 31st Festival of Folk Arts, featuring over 800 craftsmen from around a dozen countries, opened in the Buda Castle late on Thursday. The popular festival is one of the several weekend-long festivities in Hungary held in the coming days to commemorate the foundation of the Hungarian state.
The largest folk arts event in Hungary, which runs until August 20, features craftsmen and artists from all regions of the Carpathian Basin and, among other countries, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Honduras. The guest of honour is Mongolia, the organisers said at the opening. Embroidery is in the focus of this year’s event, with workshops offering insight into the techniques of various regions, they said.
Violinist Felix Lajko, the St Ephraim Men’s Chorus, woodwind player Balázs Szokolai Dongó and the Tükrös ensemble will be among the performers, along with musicians and dancers from Georgia, Honduras and Bashkortostan. The festival is a stronghold of folk art for Hungarians and other ethnic groups in the region, helping artists “to uphold and pass on our heritage to the coming generations”, Mrs Miklós Pál, head of the organisers, said at the opening ceremony.
20th of August, held this year on this Sunday, is a national holiday in Hungary, celebrated with weekend-long festivities throughout the country. August 20th commemorates the foundation of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary by King St. Stephen, who was canonized on 20th of August, 1083 by Pope Gregory VII. Festivities start in the morning with the raising of the Hungarian flag and continue on all day long, culminating in a spectacular fireworks display over the Danube in the evening.
via MTI; photo: Zsolt Szigetváry – MTI