The traditional flower festival in the eastern Hungarian city of Debrecen started last Tuesday with a carnival march including 18 floats with flower compositions, ten domestic, and 17 foreign art groups, organisers told MTI.
This year, the flower compositions included representations of the Hungarian crown, Debrecen’s coat of arms, and the Legend of Saint King Ladislaus. Debrecen’s twin cities, German Paderborn, Japanese Toyama, and Romania’s Nagyvárad (Oradea) also set up floats.
Art groups from Belgium, Colombia, Croatia, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, and Ukraine all participated alongside ten Hungarian groups, organizers said.
The history of the Flower Carnival dates back to the beginning of the last century: in September 1900, the Debreczen Civil Bicycle Association organized a bicycle competition on the association’s new field. The highlight of the competition – reported the newspaper of the age – was a large-scale flower parade. Debrecen has organized the Flower Carnival since 1966, which by today has grown into one of the most popular festivals – not only of the city but of Hungary as well. The internationally acknowledged Flower Parade is held on August 20th every year, a national holiday when Hungarians celebrate the foundation of the Hungarian State.
To close off the festival, on August 20th, the Nagyerdei Stadium hosts the most spectacular element of the festival, the Carnival Night for the sixth time. More than two thousand foreign and Hungarian dancers and performers celebrate the Flower Carnival and the city of Debrecen together. The Carnival Week and the night parade will end at 8:30 pm with a free Magna Cum Laude concert at Debrecen’s Kossuth Square.