From today, Budapest’s central Vörösmarty tér is filled once again with the cinnamon aromas of the main Christmas Fair, welcoming festive crowds until New Year’s Day. Celebrating 20 years in 2018, this merry bazaar awaits visitors with ornate wooden stalls offering high-quality local handicrafts, traditional trinkets and delicacies of Hungarian gastronomy. In addition to the holiday-season merchandise, concerts, dance shows, themed gastro weeks and special light shows will provide family-friendly entertainment, attracting huge crowds – including the real Santa Claus.
From colourful Christmas baubles to high-quality woodwork, vibrantly glazed ceramics, contemporary jewellery, accessories, posters, a wide range of locally made handicrafts all feature, from more than 120 Hungarian artisans altogether.
Meanwhile, diners are treated to traditional Hungarian dishes, including goulash soup, paprika-infused stews, lángos and grilled sausage. Thanks to themed weeks, visitors can enjoy classic culinary delights and fine wines from the different regions of the country, all in one place. The first, between 9-18 November, will be filled with goose-based dishes, tied in with St. Martin’s Day celebrations.
Those with a sweet tooth can enjoy sugar-dusted chimney cake pastries, gingerbread and traditional Jewish flódni cake. Visitors who want to warm their soul while discovering this winter wonderland can sip aromatic mulled wine concocted from fine Magyar libations, pálinka punch and other warm drinks infused with a hint of alcohol.
Browsers, shoppers and diners have events to look forward to, as well. Concerts, dance performances, workshops and puppet shows will be entertaining visitors every day during the fair, while children can join holiday-themed workshops. Candles on the giant Advent wreath will be lit at 4pm on those four Sundays, while between 1-24 December, Budapest’s iconic Gerbeaud Café will shine brightly with colourful animations projected onto the façade from 5pm every day.
On 6 December, even the real Santa Claus, Joulupukki will fly in from Finland – on his sleigh of course – to meet children between 4pm and 7pm on the stage, making wishes come true.