Festival of Folk Arts (Mesterségek Ünnepe)
August 17 @ 10:00 am - August 20 @ 11:00 pm
Celebrating Folk Crafts in Buda Castle
Mongolia as Guest Nations, Embroidery in the Focus
Visit the Festival of Folk Arts in Budapest’s Castle District between 17th and 20th August/Thursday-Sunday if you want to find out more about Hungary’s and other nations’ rich folklore and crafts straight from the horse’s mouth.
Organised for the 31st time, the Festival is the most significant forum for living folk culture in Hungary.
Embroidery was the main theme in 2017.
The most renowned local artists and craftsmen from different regions of the country will introduce their skills handed down from many generations.
This year Mongolia will also introduce their rich folk heritage and crafts:Quick Links: Venue/Getting There – Tickets – Opening Hours – Programs – For Children
Things to Do & See on the Festival
Besides the folk traditions of the two guest countries, the festival will be focusing on playing, traditional games and toys: 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.
This year folk artists from
- Sakhalin Islands,
- Tajikistan, and
- Yakutia will show their talents on the festival.
In the workshops you can try and learn the authentic folk crafts:
- wood carving,
- making musical instruments,
- pottery making,
- smithery, etc.
If you’d like to take home traditional Hungarian souvenirs, the fair at the festival is a good place to buy them.
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)
- Bus No. 16 between Deák Ferenc tér Metro Station and Széll Kálmán tér
- Bus No. 16A from Széll Kálmán tér, (travels 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.
August 17 – 20., Thursday – Sunday:
- Programs and gastronomy: 10.00 – 23.00,
- Folk art fair : 10.00 – 21.00
- Day tickets: 2 500 HUF/adult, 1 000 HUF for children (ages: 4 – 14) and retirees,
- Free for children under the age of.
- Family tickets: 2 adults + 2 children (under age of 14): 6 000 HUF, 2 adults + 3 children (under age of 14): 6 800, 2 adults + 4 children (under age of 14): 7 600 HUF
- 4-Day Pass: 6 500 HUF/adult, discount (children aged 4 – 14 and retirees): 2 500 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: 1 500 HUF.
Embroidery was the highlighted theme of the festival last year
Besides Mongolia, visitors can meet craftsmen and folk artists and see their remarkable works from:
- Sakhalin Island
- 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
Venues: 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 Thursday, 17. August at 18.00 on the stage at Oroszlános Udvar.
Folk Art Market
Folk artists from all over Hungary present their craft goods that make an excellent souvenir:
- handmade soaps,
- leather bags and accessories,
- glass, and
- enameled products.
The fair is open every day between 10.00 and 23.00.
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.
Children 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:
- rope making,
- 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.
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!