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Festival of Folk Arts (Mesterségek Ünnepe)

August 19, 2020 @ 10:00 am - August 22, 2020 @ 11:00 pm

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Celebrating Folk Crafts in Buda Castle

Footwear in the Focus

Visit the Festival of Folk Arts in Budapest’s Castle District between 17th and 20th August/Saturday-Tuesday if you want to find out more about Hungary’s and other nations’ rich folklore and crafts straight from the horse’s mouth.

a middle-aged bearded man carving wood with an axOrganised for the 33th time, the Festival is the most significant forum for living folk culture in Hungary.

The most renowned local artists and craftsmen from different regions of the country will introduce their skills handed down from many generations.

This year Japan will also present its rich folk heritage and crafts.

Quick Links: Venue/Getting ThereTickets Opening HoursProgramsFor ChildrenHarvest Process – Food

Stage programs: 17. Aug/Friday18. Aug/Saturday19. Aug/Sunday20. Aug/Monday

Things to Do & See on the Festival

Besides the folk traditions of the guest countries, the festival will be focusing on footwear, mainly the Szeged slippers that are living their revival nowadays.

A whole exhibit and workshops will be dedicated to this theme in the Oroszlános Udvar. Each year the festival invites several nations as special guests of the event.

Shoemakers from Spain and Turkey will be present to show their renewed designs.

You can also meet the best shoemaker of the world and see how he makes his extravagant footwears from any kind of animal skin:

  • salmon
  • shark
  • crocodile
  • ostrich, or
  • eel.

You will have the opportunity to try out shoemaking in the festival’s similar to original traditional shomaker’s workshop.

Guest of Honor country of the 2019 festival:

  • craftsmen and women from Japan will show their talents on the festival.

In the workshops you can try and learn the authentic folk crafts:

  • wood carving,
  • making musical instruments,
  • embroidery,
  • pottery making,
  • weaving, spinning
  • smithery, etc.

If you’d like to take home traditional Hungarian souvenirs, the fair at the festival is a good place to buy them.

TIP: the Festival is connected to the festivities of the August 20th St. Stephen’s Day-National Holiday when Hungary celebrates its first king, St. Stephen, and the foundation of the Hungarian state.

The event closes with an amazing Fireworks Show over the Danube that you can watch from the upper deck of a cruise boat.


Royal Castle in Budapest’s Castle District: Lions Court (Oroszlános Udvar, Savoyai Terrace)

Getting There:

  •  Bus No. 16 between Deák Ferenc tér Metro Station and Díszt tér in the Castle
  • Bus No. 16A, Bus No. 116 from Széll Kálmán tér, (travel between Széll Kálmán tér and  Dísz tér in the Castle)
  • Bus No. 216 from Deák tér Metro Station: bus service that runs only during the festival, takes you directly to the venue.

The termini of the buses is at Dísz tér, at the gate to the Royla Palace.

Opening Hours:

August 17 – 19., Saturday – Monday:

  • Programs and gastronomy: 10.00 – 23.00,
  • Folk art fair : 10.00 – 21.00

August 20., Tuesday

  • Programs and gastronomy: 10.00 – 21.00,
  • Folk art fair : 10.00 – 21.00

Tickets (2018):

  • Day tickets: 2 500 HUF/adult, 1 500 HUF for children (ages: 4 – 18: student ID is necessary) and retirees,
  • Free for children under the age of 4.
  • Family tickets: 2 adults + child (under age of 14): 5 400 HUF, 2 adults + 2 children (under age of 14): 6 400 HUF, 2 adults + 3 children (under age of 14): 7 400, 2 adults + 4 children (under age of 14): 8 400 HUF
  • Tickets are also valid to the Budapest History Museum’s exhibitions (location: Szt. György tér 2., Buda Castle, Royal Palace, section E).

Note: Payment both cash and bank cards are accepted.

Programs at the Folk Art Festival, Buda Castle


a wooden carouselFootwear and shoemaking are the highlighted themes of the festival this year.

Guest Nations

Besides Japan as Guest of Honour, visitors can meet craftsmen and folk artists and see their remarkable works from:

  • Spain
  • Turkey
  • India
  • China,
  • Uzbekistan

On top of the workshops and fair, there are many other programs to entertain you.

Artists from all around the world perform folk dances and folk music.

Concerts, Folk Dance on 2 Stages

a folk dance ensemble on the stage of the festivalVenues: stages at the Lion’s Court (Oroszlános Udvar) and Savoya Terrace

  • Musical performances,
  • puppet show for kids,
  • folk music and dance,
  • world music, 

will entertain visitors each day on two stages: on the Palace Stage next to the Savoyai Terrace and a stage in the Lion’s Court (Oroszlános Udvar).

The Opening Ceremony of the Festival will be on Friday, 17. August at 18.30 on the stage at Oroszlános Udvar.

17. August, Saturday

Oroszlános Udvar (Lion’s Court)

  • 15.00 – The 30 year old Hungarian Tekerőzenekar – Hungarian folk music concert
  • 17.00 – Folk dances of the World – our guest is the Summerfest: Japanese drums, Mallorcan and Cossack dance
  • 19.00 – “Voodoo csárda” – Kerekes Band concert – Hungarian world music concert
  • 21.00 – Folk Dances of the World – With the Summerfest: Dance house with Bulgarian and Bosnian dancers – dance teachings

Savoya Terrace

  • 14.00 – The Cziffra Center is comming: Concerts of the Snétberger Center – Jazz concert
  • 15.00 – The Cziffra Center is comming: Romani Design – Fashion Show
  • 15.30 – Iaido (Japanese martial art) production with the Hungarian Kendo Federation – Japanese sword art show
  • 16.30 – The Cziffra Center project is comming: Sárközy Lajos and his band – Hungarian gipsy music
  • 18.30 – Soós Csaba and his friends – Hungarian folk music concert
  • 19.30 – 15.30 – Iaido (Japanese martial art) production with the Hungarian Kendo Federation – Japanese sword art show
  • 20.00 – Concert of the Italian Telamure Group – Folk music
  • 21.00 – Chado-a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony

18. August, Sunday

Oroszlános Udvar (Lion’s Court)

  • 15.00 – Laundry of Mosó Masa – Veronaki Band’s concert – Album release – World music concert for children
  • 17.00 – “folkTREND!” – Modern outfits following traditional lines – Hungarian fashion show
  • 19.00 – Lajkó Félix and his Great Orchestra – World music concert
  • 21.00 – Kolo band – South Slavish dance teaching

Savoya Terrace

  • 14.00 – Kiyo Kito Taiko drum performance – Traditional Japanese drum music
  • 14.30 – Kimono show of Vihar Judit – Japanese kimono fashion show
  • 16.00 – ViGaD Band and the Ispiláng vocal ensemble – South Slavic music concert
  • 18.00 – Safwat Sabri and his band from Syria – Traditional arabic music
  • 19.00 – Kenéz László’s shakuhachi (Japanese flute with 5 holes) performance – Traditional Japanese flute music
  • 20.00 – Orient Occident – Kobza Vajk lute concert – Oriental world music solo
  • 21.00 – Kenéz László’s shakuhachi performance – Traditional Japanese flute music

19. August, Monday

Oroszlános Udvar (Lion’s Court)

  • 15.00 – 25 years old Zurgó Band – Folk music concert
  • 17.00 – Martenica Dance Group – Bulgarian folk dance performance
  • 19.00 – Chris Potter and the Dresch Quartett – Jazz and world music concert
  • 21.00 – Moldavian dance teaching with the Zurgó Group

Savoya Terrace

  • 14.00 – Vitosa Band – Bulgaria – Folk music
  • 15.00 – Bonsai presentation by Katona Ervin
  • 16.00 – AWARD CEREMONY
  • 17.00 – Kenéz László’s shakuhachi (Japanese flute with 5 holes) performance – Traditional Japanese flute music
  • 18.00 – Fülep Márk flutist and his friends: Folkpanorama – Folk and classiscal cross over music
  • 19.30 – Concert of David Yengibarjan and Gerzson János – World music
  • 21.00 – Boga & Thomas Gundermann: Touch of unknown – World music

20. August, Tuesday

Oroszlános Udvar (Lion’s Court)

  • 15.00 – Matyó Folk Dance Ensemble – Folk dance performance
  • 17.00 – Fitos Dezső Sodality: The village – in cooperation with the Szentendre Dance Ensemble – Folk dance performance
  • 19.00 – Bársony Bálint Sextette: Hungarian Rhapsody Project – World music classical cross over

Savoya Terrace

  • 14.00 – Gatyamadzag band’s concert – Hungarian folk music
  • 16.00 – Pengetős Trio – Hungarian folk music on string instruments
  • 18.00 – Kátai Zoltán and Szokolay Dongó Balázs duo concert – Folk and early music
  • 20.00 – The festive concert of Szalonna and his band – Hungarian folk music

Folk Art Market

carved wood folk pruducts

Folk artists from all over Hungary present their craft goods that make an excellent souvenir:

  • pottery,
  • handmade soaps,
  • leather bags and accessories,
  • puppets
  • wood,
  • glass, and
  • enameled products.

The fair is open every day between 10.00 and 23.00.


a man in white t-shirt and apron coating the pastry in sugar
Making Kürtös Kalács (traditional Transylvanian pastry)

The usual fair-fare can be tasted on all 4 days:

  • töki pompos: bread pizza baked in clay oven with various toppings,
  • kürtöskalács/Sekler cake (a swirled, cylinder shaped pastry baked over open fire then coated with sugar, ground walnuts, cinnamon, cocoa, or coconut chips).
  • Meat lovers can indulge in roast pork knuckle, grilled sausage and meats, and home made pickles.

You can also sample traditional food of the Hungarian countryside

Spritzer, beer, pálinka, soft drinks to wash down the tasty food.

Programs for Kids

children playing folk gamesChildren won’t be bored either, there’ll be plenty programs for them, as well every day from 10.00 till 20.00.

In the play house at the Savoy terrace kids can try their hands at various handicrafts:

  •     weaving,
  •     felting,
  •     rope making,
  •     sewing,
  •     rag doll making,
  •     paper folding,
  •     beading, enamelling,
  •     candle dipping,
  •     making a magical felt carpet
  •     preparing a giant Harvest Wreath etc.

Toddlers can play with memory games, skill board games, wooden toys and enjoy a merry-go-round in the New World Garden (Újvilág Kert) next to the National Széchenyi Library.

Detailed Children Programs

Tekergő Square – In the Garden of the Budapest History Museum

Rambling sail, Flipper, Labyrinth, Catch me if you can!, Air Soccer, Fun Bowling

During the four days of the festival children will be able to try the following crafts in the garden of the history museum.

Újvilágkert (Újvilág Garden)

Kids can learn to play traditional Hungarian skill games with the Baranta Association.

For Babies/Toddlers

A baby playground await the littlest ones where they can sing together lead by Alice Környei.

Harvest Process & Blessing of the New Bread, August 20.

On 20th August we also celebrate the end of crop harvest and the new bread and the ceremony of the so called “blessing of the bread” will take place at the stage at the St. Stephen Statue next to Matthias Church following a spectacular harvest process.

  • Harvest process: starts at 09.30 on Aug. 20. Tuesday: the route: Szent György tér – Szent György utca – Dísz tér – Tárnok utca – Szentháromság tér – King St. Stephen’s Statue
  • Blessing of the Bread: at 10.00 am Aug. 20. Tuesday: King St. Stephen’s Statue.

See detailed program schedule on the organiser’s website.

Travel back in time with the Festival of Folk Arts: come and experience the atmosphere of old fairs held in the Castle, and have a wonderful time with your family during your Budapest vacation!

TIP: Check out also the Street of Hungarian Flavours festival between Várkert Bazaa and Szilágyi Dezső Square on 19 – 20. August. See also more August Events in Budapest.

More Summer Events:

Folk Festival in MaySummer FestivalSziget FestivalJewish Summer FestivalTop Summer Things To Do


August 19, 2020 @ 10:00 am
August 22, 2020 @ 11:00 pm