4th Székely Festival to Be Held in Budapest’s Millenáris Park
The Székely Festival will be held for the fourth time between 11-13 May in Millenáris Park in Budapest. The event aims to introduce the values, arts, gastronomy, and culture of Székelyföld, or Szeklerland, a Hungarian-populated historic and ethnographic area in the heart of Transylvania, to the inhabitants of the “mother country” and the Hungarian capital.
The three historical regions of Szeklerland, Maros, Covasna and Hargitha counties will showcase the community’s past, present and future values for visitors with traditional music and dance performances, dance houses, childrens’ programs and an arts and crafts market with a special emphasis on Szekler craftsmanship. In addition, those who are interested in gastronomy can try the best of the Szekler cuisine, including local beers, wines and pálinka as well as kürtőskalács (chimney cake), cheese and sausages. Besides introducing Szekler traditions to the citizens of Budapest, the festival also aims to become a meeting place for Szeklers away from home.
photo via mediatica.ro
This year, the guest of honor of the festival will be Marosszék, one of the historical territorial administrative units of Szeklerland. As usual, the patron of the festival is Mihály Varga, the Minister for National Economy of Hungary. The organizer of the event is Székely Összefogás Foundation.
Last year’s festival, with Gyergyószék as the guest of honor, attracted nearly 35,000 visitors to see more than a hundred businesses with 1200 Szekler products. You can see a video of the event here:
However, there were some controversies around the festival in 2017, as – according to the recently-closed Hungarian opposition daily Magyar Nemzet – the event and organizing rights, as well as the logo, billboards and graphic elements of the Székely Festival “had been stolen” from the former organizer of the event, the Székely Szeretetszolgálat civil organization,by former Fidesz city council member and businessman István Debreczeny. The foundation organized the first two festivals at the same place with the help of the Ministry of Human Capacities, and also under the patronage of Mihály Varga. They claimed that, although they reserved the Millenáris after the second festival, it was cancelled, and the third festival was organized by a newly-established foundation, who used the graphics “unauthorizedly” to promote their own version of the Székely Festival.
The new organizer, the Székely Összefogás Foundation, reacted a in a statement, claiming that “according to the trademark deed of the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office, dated 17 May 2016, the trademark holder of the Székely Festival is István Bajcsi, the founder of our organization, who died last December [ed.: 2016 December]. The trademark holder is now his beneficiary, who gave permission to use it.”
The former president of the Székely Szeretetszolgálat, Lukács Csaba, claims that it is completely ridiculous that the logo and other design elements could legally be owned by the festival itself, since the event is not a legal entity; in other words, Lukács argues that the event’s new Fidesz-linked organizers have effectively stolen the logo and graphics from his foundation as the graphic artist, commissioned by the Székely Szeretetszolgálat, only gave permission in the contract to use the graphics for them.