Festival of Folk Arts (Mesterségek Ünnepe)

Celebrating Folk Crafts in Buda Castle

Woodworking & South Korea In The Focus I

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

Entry to the festival is free.

Quick Links:

Venue Getting ThereOpening HoursWhy Go?Things To See & DoProgramsFolk Art MarketFolk PubFor ChildrenHarvest Process – Food

Stage Programs: 20. Aug/Saturday21. Aug/Sunday

a middle-aged bearded man carving wood with an ax

Organised for the 36th 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’s special guest nations will be South Korea and Slovakia that will also present its rich folk heritage and crafts.

Things To Do & See On The Festival

Besides the folk traditions of the guest country, the festival will be focusing on woodcraft. Around 800 Hungarian and 150 foreign folk artist will present their work and talent over the 3 days.

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

Guest of Honor country of the 2023 festival:

  • Craftsmen and -women from South Korea will show their talents on the festival.

The festival hosts a couple of workshops where you can try and learn the authentic folk crafts:

  • Wood carving,
  • Making musical instruments,
  • Embroidery,
  • Pottery making,
  • Weaving, spinning
  • Smithery, etc.

Why Should You Go?

  • If you want to learn more about local folk culture and craft at a scenic, historic location, Buda Castle then this event is definitely must go on your “Budapest to do list”.
  • Furthermore, if you love good food and trying out the traditional dishes of the country you’re visiting then the Folk Art Festival is an ideal place to do that.
  • Vacationing with kids? A range of children activities and programs will be there to keep the little ones entertained.

NEW: Folk Pub – Good Music, Dancing & Food

Location: Zsolnyai Fountain on Tóth Árpád Promenade (Zsolnay kút, Tóth Árpád setány)

This is a new venue and program and provides a cool, chill-out oasis for adults.

Besides relaxing to the tunes of melodic folk music of the Carpathian Basin, you can taste local food and beer and other drinks here.

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.

Venue – The Historic Buda Castle

The quaint squares and streets of the Buda Castle have given home to the festival for many years now.

Programs Will take Place At The Following Spots:

  • Royal Castle in Budapest’s Castle District:
  • Anjou Bástya (Anjou Bastion),
  • Tóth Árpád sétány (Tóth Árpád Promenade),
  • Kapisztrán tér (Kapisztrán Square),
  • Nándor utca (Nándor Street),
  • Táncsics Mihály Street,
  • Bécsi kapu tér (Bécsi kapu Square),
  • Szentháromság park (Holy Trinity Park),
  • Szentháromság tér (Holy Trinity Square)

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.[/tie_list]

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

Opening Hours:

August 19 – 21.

  • 19. August, Friday: 10.00 – 22.00
  • 20. August, Saturday: 10.00 – 21.00
  • 21. August, Sunday: 10.00 – 22.00
  • Craft Workshops/Programs/Folk art fair: 10.00 – 21.00 each day

Ticket: Entry Is FREE in 2022

As Part of the August 20th State Ceremonies everyone can visit the craft festival free of charge.

Programs At The Folk Art Festival, Buda Castle

a wooden carousel

Guest Nation – South Korea

Visitors can meet craftsmen and folk artists of the South-Asian country and see their remarkable works and as a result get a glimpse into their culture.

Spectacular music and dance performances, and special gastronomic experiences await old and new fans of Korean culture.

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

Concerts, Folk Dance, Fashion Show On The Main Stage

a folk dance ensemble on the stage of the festival

Venues: stages at the Lion’s Court (Oroszlános Udvar) and Savoya Terrace

  • Musical performances,
  • Fashion show
  • Folk music and dance,
  • World music.

will entertain visitors each day on the main stage at Holy Trinity Square (Szentháromság tér).

The Opening Ceremony of the Festival will be on Saturday at 11.00 also at Holy Trinity Square.

20. August, Saturday – Stage Programs

Main Stage – Holy Trinity Square/Szentháromság Tér

  • 10.30 – Hungarian Mosaic Concert – Record release concert of Dongó Balázs Szokolay and the Corpus Harsona Quartet
  • 11.00 – Opening Ceremony
  • 12.00 – Guest Nation: Korea: drums, silks, mysteries from Korea
  • 13.00 – Heritage Gala – Heritage National Folk Art Association for Children and Youth
  • 14.30 – Concert by Andrea Navratil and the Kobzos Ensemble
  • 15.00 – Blessing Of The New Bread
  • 16.30 – Folktrend! – Tradition is old, style is new – Fashion show
  • 18.00 – Our Guest: Korea
  • 19.30 – The village: Performance by the Fitos Dezső Troupe

21. August, Sunday – Stage Programs

Main Stage – Holy Trinity Square/Szentháromság Tér

  • 10.00 – Our Guest: Korea
  • 10.30 – Hanbok Fashion Show: Korean folk costume show; folk costumes that will captivate your heart
  • 11.30 – Romani Design Fashion Show: with Helena Varga and her band
  • 12.30 – ViGaD Band: South Slavic music at noon
  • 13.30 – Fascinating Kalocsa: a joint production of the Kalocsa Traditional Association and By Me Hrivnák Tünde
  • 14.00 – Alföld – Here I Lived: Performance by the Kecskemét Dance Ensemble
  • 15.00 – Award Ceremony
  • 16.30 – Our Guest: Korea
  • 17.30 – Hudaki Village Band: World music from Ukraine
  • 19.00 – Mazsimó: Gipsy concert

Folk Art Market – A Great Place To Get a Souvenir

carved wood folk pruducts

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

  • Pottery,
  • Leather bags and accessories,
  • Woodcraft,
  • Glassware,
  • Enameled products
  • Handmade soaps,.

The fair is open every day between 10.00 and 21.00.


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

  • 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.

Folk Pub – Food & Drinks, Folk Music & Dance House

Head for this place if you’ve had enough of the festival whirl. The folk pub is located on Tóth Árpád sétány/Promenade ,a scenic walkway at the southwestern side of the Castle.

A relaxation area where you can grab a cool beer or spritzer and food while enjoying the lovely folk music and songs of the Carpathian Basin.

Every day new performers:

  • Folk music performers,
  • Dancers,
  • Story tellers will entertain the guests here.

Who knows, after a couple of beers you may want to join the singing and dancing?

Programs For Kids – Stage & Play House – Dísz tér/Royal Palace

children playing folk games

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 Dísz tér kids can try their hands at various handicrafts:[checklist]

  •     Weaving,
  •     Felting,
  •     Rope making,
  •     Sewing,
  •     Rag doll making,
  •     Paper folding,
  •     Beading, enamelling,
  •     Candle dipping,
  •     Making a magical felt carpet

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.

Children Programs At The Stage At Dísz Tér

19. August, Friday,

  • 11.00 – 12.00: Paár Julcsi – Hangoló: Round Forest Fairytale Concert
  • 15.00 – 16.00: lap games, dance lessons for children and adults with Andrea Szerényi and Kristóf Gundy; live storytelling with Lori Csíki, storyteller of the Meseszó Hungarian Storytelling and Folktext Association
  • 16.00 – 17.00: The son of the red cow for a dramatic fairy tale with storytelling and theatre forms with Merende Workshop
  • 17.00 – 19.00 Dance and singing lessons, musical instrument demonstration
  • Host band: the Hettyenfütty band
  • Host dance teacher: Julia Hüse

20. August, Saturday,

  • 11.00 – 12.00: Andrea Navratil: Daram, daram ‘my bird’ children’s concert
  • 15.00 – 16.00: lap games, dance lessons for children and adults with Réka Horti; live storytelling with Boglárka Aranyos
  • 16.00 – 17.00: Ládafia puppet theatre: “The duel: the cock, the emperor and the half-crowned diamond”
  • 17.00 – 19.00 Dance and singing lessons, instrument demonstration,
  • Host band: the band of the RedSeven
  • Host dance instructor: the dancers of Project F

21. August, Sunday,

  • 11.00 – 12.00: ‘Ingó-bingó’ Children’s concert with Évi Páll
  • 15.00 – 16.00 lap games, dance lessons for children and adults with Anna Körtvélyesi; live storytelling with Boglárka, Klitsie – Szabad storyteller of the Meseszó Hungarian Storytelling and Folktext Association
  • 16.00 – 17.00 László Gulyás: Mouse parade
  • 17.00 – 19.00 Dance and singing lessons, instrument demonstration
  • Host band: the Hegymegett band

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 new bread” will take place at the stage at the St. Stephen Statue next to Matthias Church following a spectacular harvest process.

Harvest Process

The procession 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

You can witness this sacred and traditional act on 20. August, Saturday at 15.00 at 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 May – Summer FestivalSziget FestivalJewish Summer FestivalTop Summer Things To Do