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Festival of Folk Arts (Mesterségek Ünnepe)

August 17 @ 10:00 am - August 20 @ 11:00 pm

Celebrating Folk Crafts in Buda Castle

Weaving and Spinning in the Focus

Visit the Festival of Folk Arts in Budapest’s Castle District between 17th and 20th August/Friday-Monday 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 32nd 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 China, Mongolia and Uzbekistan will also introduce their 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 weaving nd spinning. A whole exhibit and workshops will be dedicated to these themes in the Oroszlános Udvar.

Each year the festival invites several nations as special guests of the event.

This year folk artists from

  • Mongolia
  • China and
  • Uzbekistan 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 – 29., Friday – Sunday:

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

August 20., Monday

  • 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 adulta + 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).
  • Combined ticket to the festival and the Hungarian National Gallery (Dísz tér 17., Buda Castle): full price: 3 600 HUF, children (ages: 4 – 14) and retiree price: 1 700 HUF.
Note: Payment is mostly in cash. Bank cards are accepted only at the ticket booths at Koldus kapu, Barokk kapu and Clark Adam Square.

Programs at the Folk Art Festival, Buda Castle

Weaving and Spinning

a wooden carouselWeaving and spinning are the highlighted theme of the festival this year.

Guest Nations

Besides Mongolia, visitors can meet craftsmen and folk artists and see their remarkable works from:

  • China,
  • Uzbekistan ,
  • Mongolia

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, Friday

Oroszlános Udvar (Lion’s Court)

  • 13.00 – Concert of the Kolo Band (Southern Slavic music)
  • 15.00 – Dance performance of Southern-Korean and Paraguay dance ensembles
  • 17.00 – Dance show of Russian and Tatar dancers
  • 19.00 – Mónika  Lakatos and the Gypsy tunes! – Traditional Olah-Gypsy songs
  • 20.30 – Dance House with Mónika  Lakatos

Savoya Terrace

  • 12.00 – Concert of the Gatyamadzag Folk Band
  • 13.00 – Fashion Show – works of talented young folk artists in the limelight
  • 14.00 – Concert Árpád Bakos & His Friends (Hungarian-Macedon folk music)
  • 16.00 – RUSTICO – CD release concert
  • 20.00 – Concert Árpád Bakos & His Friends (Hungarian-Macedon folk music)

18. August, Saturday

Oroszlános Udvar (Lion’s Court)

  • 11.00 – Youth Dance Ensembles from Finnland and Kazakhstan
  • 13.00 – Odessa Klezmer Band
  • 15.00 – Concert of the Gatyamadzag Folk Band
  • 17.00 – Folkmozaik – Performance of the Vadrózsa Dance Ensemble, music: Zagyva Band
  • 19.00 – Concert: István Pál Szalonna & His Band and the Sarjú Banda
  • 20.30 – Performance of the Kárpátalja Magyar Folk Dance Group: music: BorzsaVári Band
  • 21.00 – Hungarian dance house with Szalonna and the Sarjú Band

Savoya Terrace

  • 12.00 – Mielotxin Basque band
  • 14.00 – BorzsaVári Folk Music Band from Transcarpathia
  • 16.00 – Four Voices – One Family: Concert of the Karaván Família
  • 17.00 – Treasures of Transcarpathia – The New By Me Treasure Collection of Tünde Hrivnák
  • 18.00 – Concert: Mátyás Bolya and Tamás Geröly duet
  • 20.00 – Mielotxin Basque band

19. August, Sunday

Oroszlános Udvar (Lion’s Court)

  • 11.00 – BEM Dance Ensemble
  • 13.00 – Dance performance of Thai and Taiwan dance ensembles
  • 15.00 – “Karikás” dance… Concert of Géza Fábri lute artist, and the students of the András Dugonics Piarist High School
  • 17.00 – Performance of the Nyírség Dance Ensemble, music: Szikes Band
  • 19.00 – Mihály Dresch and his string band
  • 21.00 – Hungarian dance house with the Bandárium…

Savoya Terrace

  • 12.00 – Corpus Trump Quartet and Balázs Dongó Szokolay – CD release concert
  • 14.00 – Concert of the Zoltán Juhász family band
  • 16.00 – AWRD CEREMONY
  • 18.00 – Ágnes Enyedi and the Bandárium: folk concert
  • 20.00 – Kongó and Friends concert – Sekler music

20. August, Monday

Oroszlános Udvar (Lion’s Court)

  • 11.00 – Csepp Csepel Dance Ensemble: Goat Story – interactive dance story
  • 13.00 – Festive concert of the Zsikó Band
  • 15.00 – From North to East – music and danc ewith the Kincső Dance Group and the Naszály Band
  • 17.00 – Debreceni Forgórózsa Dance Ensemble
  • 19.00 – Music in the Family – Concert of the Vujicsics a Söndörgő and the a ViGaD Bands, guest: Levente Szörényi

Savoya Terrace

  • 12.00 – Szilvia Bognár: Concert for Children
  • 14.00 – Servet Band: Moldovan Csango folk music
  • 16.00 – Concert of the Bokros Trió
  • 18.00 – Szilvia  Bognár Quartet
  • 20.00 – Servet Band: Moldovan Csango 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 14.30 on Aug. 20. Sunday: the route: Szent György tér – Szent György utca – Dísz tér – Tárnok utca – Szentháromság tér – King St. Stephen’s Statue
  • Blessing of the Bread: at 15.00 Aug. 20. Sunday: 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 17 @ 10:00 am
August 20 @ 11:00 pm