This year, due to precautionary COVID-19 measures there will be no “Advent Market” in the traditional sense to prevent overcrowding, but there will be a flea market, with vendors’ pavilions dispersed around the city centre, Dósa nádor Square will also be part of the festive atmosphere, and a skating rink will be opened in front of the Great Church.
Last year the Advent period in Debrecen was “rather subdued” due to the pandemic situation, but this year they want to evoke the atmosphere of past years and are preparing new things to liven up the Advent period, said László Papp at a briefing on Friday.
The mayor said that Debrecen will be dressed up for the festive season, but there will be Christmas stars, lights, and bell decorations not only in the city centre, but also in Bánk, Dombostanyán, Kismacs, Nagymacs, and Ondód, and new elements will be added to the usual ones.
Dósa nádor Square will also be an important part of the Advent season. For the first time, the public will be able to see a cone shape light installation with gift boxes and a sofa bed said the mayor.
László Papp pointed out that there will be no Advent market this year, but a flea market will be open to visitors to the city centre, because different rules apply to the two. There will be stalls on Kossuth Square, Csapó Street, Dósa Nádor Square and Rózsa Street.
A larger area will be open to visitors during the Advent period. The fair will offer a relatively large number of attractions, with 20 catering units and 80 traders, the mayor said, adding that under the current rules, the fair is not subject to a certificate of protection.
László Papp said that this year, instead of a Ferris wheel in front of the Great Church, there will be a 750-square-metre continuous skating rink, which will be made more interesting by a 120-metre long corridor: it will be possible to skate around the Kossuth monument. He added that the rink will be free of charge on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. and on weekends between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. during the Advent period, and after the Advent period and between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., the entrance fee will be HUF 800. In addition to the city centre, a larger ice rink is also being built in the northern event area of the Nagyerdei Stadium.
László Papp also said that Santa Claus will be waiting for children in the Advent house in the main square (at the front of the Golden Bull building on Piac Street), but that the CSAK Design Fair and the Folk Crafts Fair will also be held there. It will also serve as a collection point for the Debrecen Charity Board’s Add tovább! programme, where donations for the needy can be taken until 23rd December.
The mayor pointed out that the candle-lighting will be held in a new location this year, in the Memorial Garden behind the Great Church, but you will need a patronage card to enter.
The events will be broadcast live on the city’s Facebook page and on Debrecen Television. The first candle will be lit at 5 p.m. on the 28th of November, followed by the lighting of the city lights.
Light trams will also be running this year, on both tram lines 1 and 2 from the 28th of November. The artists of the Lighthouse in Debrecen will present visitors to the Glass Pyramid next to the Great Church with a special visual experience.
Réka Mészáros, the managing director of the Főnix Event Organising Non-profit Ltd. said that the traditional concert of the Debrecen Local Police Orchestra will open the Advent programme on Saturday the 28th November at 7 p.m. in the Kölcsey Centre.
Avent Programmes 2021
- 3rd December: Debrecen kindergarten children decorate 24 small trees on Dósa nádor square
- 3rd to 6th December: Santa Claus from Debrecen awaits the children in the Advent House in the mornings
- 5th December: Santa Claus from Lapland, Joulupukki, visits Debrecen. The Csicseriborsó zenekar (Chickpea Band) will perform
- 6th, 13th and 20th December: Advent Concerts in the Reformed Great Church
- 12th December: A book launch and talk organised by DEMKI. András Csókay, Anna Kubik, János Lackfi, Csaba Pindroch and Róbert Szikora.
- 18th December: Christmas Valceremony, gala performance by Valcer Dance Studio
- 21st December: Christmas concert of the Kodály Philharmonia Debrecen
Advent programmes in the Memorial Garden
28th November First Sunday of Advent
4:00 p.m.: Christmas melodies performed by Lóránd Heit and his folk orchestra
4:30 p.m.: Advent concert by the Pendely Family
5:00 p.m.: First Advent candle lighting
Speeches by László Papp, Mayor of the City of Debrecen, Fülöp Kocsis, Archbishop to Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Hajdúdorog, Ferenc Palánki, Bishop of the Diocese of Debrecen to Nyíregyháza and Lajos Püski, Pastoral Archbishop of the Tiszántúli Reformed Diocese.
In between the speeches, ORT to IKI, the Pendely Család and Fruzsi Erdős to Tóth will perform.
After the festive programme (with the shepherds of the Hortobágy) and the speeches, accompanied by the orchestra of Lóránd Heit, the participants will walk from the Memorial Garden to the Great Church, where the Christmas lights of the town will be lit up.
5th December Second Sunday of Advent
4:00 p.m.: Sáránd nativity play to performed by Zsigmond the Beautiful and his company
4:30 p.m.: Performance by the parent choir of the Sunflower Waldorf Primary School
5:00 p.m.: Second Advent Candle Lighting
Speech by István Puskás, Deputy Mayor of Debrecen, Richárd Asztalos, Evangelical Director Pastor of the Debrecen Evangelical Parish and Barnabás Sipos, Parish Priest of the Hungarian Orthodox Parish of the Holy Trinity of Debrecen.
During the speeches, the choir of the Rainbow Children’s Choir and the choir of the Hungarian Orthodox Parish of the Holy Trinity of Debrecen will serve. Árpád Bakota, actor of the Csokonai Theatre, will participate in the candle lighting.
12th December. Third Sunday of Advent
4:00 p.m.: Luca, Luca kitty to kitty to Luca’s day folk traditions
4:20 p.m.: The Sunflower Waldorf Elementary School’s nativity playgroup presents the nativity play of Hosszúpályi
4:40 p.m.: Advent melodies to performed by Gergő Dánielfy, Bogi Nagy and Máté Czinke
5:00 p.m.: Third Advent candle lighting
Speeches by Ákos Balázs, Deputy Mayor of Debrecen, András Beszterczey, Pastor of the Reformed Parish of Debrecen to Nagytemplomi Reformed Church, János Kiss, Pastor of the Baptist Congregation of Debrecen. The Choir of the Debrecen Baptist Congregation will sing between the speeches.
The third candle lighting ceremony will be attended by the messengers of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress (János Laczkfi, Csaba Pindroch, András Csókay, Anna Kubik, Róbert Szikora).
Gergő Dánielfy, Bogi Nagy and Máté Czinke will perform during the candle lighting
19th December Fourth Sunday of Advent
4:00 p.m.: Performance by the men’s choir of the Lowland.
4:30 p.m.: Gift performance of the Greek Catholic nativity group “Fülöpi Betlehemes
5:00 p.m.: Fourth Advent candle lighting
Speech by Lajos Barcsa, Deputy Mayor of Debrecen, László Tóth, Parish Priest of the Debrecen Parish of the Incarnation, István Kapin, Parish Priest of the Greek Catholic Parish of Debrecen.
The passing on of the flame of the nativity scene will be carried out by the 43rd Phoenix Scout Troop and the Ort to Iki Puppet and Street Theatre.