Several anniversaries are celebrated in 2023 in the Hortobágy, Hungary’s oldest and biggest national park that awaits visitors with a series if festive events this year.
The end of the 1960s marked an important milestone in the history of Hungarian nature protection when a widescale co-operation began and Hungary first national park was established in the Hortobágy on January 1, 1973, exactly 50 years ago this year.
Such a unique ensemble of sweep-pole wells, mirages, shepherds, wranglers, herdsmen, bustards, storks, inns, saline pastures, and herds cannot be seen anywhere else but on Hortobágy. The beauty, natural treasures, infinity, silence, flora and fauna of the landscape, the culture of traditional foals, goulashes and shepherds await visitors with different colorful, unique events and attractions.
In the words of the great Hungarian poet, Sándor Petőfi “Hortobágy, glorious flatland, you are God’s forehead.” Hortobágy is Europe’s most extensive grassland, one of the most characteristic landscapes of Hungary, and an outstanding example of the harmonious interaction between people and nature. Its biggest value is the unbroken horizon, the unique landscape of the wilderness, the infinite silence, and its famous natural phenomenon, the mirage.
Besides the natural wonders and the unique pastoral culture, the Hortobágy features several iconic buildings. One of them is the Nine-Hole Bridge, the symbol of the Puszta, that was built exactly 190 years ago in 2023.
Another anniversary is celebrated in the Hortobágy this year as the Hortobágy Fishponds Narrow-Gauge Railway turns 100 years old.
Due to these anniversaries a series of festive events are held in 2023 in the Hortobágy. The first is the Weekend of the Open Stables on February 25-26 when visitors can have a close look at the new-born animals of the Puszta, including foals, lambs, pigs, baby goats and calves, as well as chicks, ducks, geese, and donkeys. The tours are guided by local herders and shepherds and start at the Hortobágy Inn that open its gates at that weekend with traditional Puszta dishes and live gipsy music.
Events held in the Hortobágy in 2023
25-25 February 2023: Weekend of Open Stables and Inn Opening
18 March 2023: Petőfi Equestrian Memorial Tour & Petőfi Night at the Hortobágy Inn
22 April 2023: St. George’s Day Herd-Out Festival & Our Heritage, The Puszta Day
13 May 2023: Taste of the Puszta Street Food Festival
27 May 2023: National Herders’ Meeting and Competition
2-3 June 2023: Hortobágy Village Days
23-24 June 2023: Bridge Festival at the 190-year-old Nine-Hole Bridge
15 July 2023: Day of the 100-year-old Hortobágy Fishponds Narrow-Gauge Railway
14-16 July 2023: 55th Hortobágy Equestrian Days
18-20 August 2023: Hortobágy Bridge Fair
22-25 September 2023: Shepherd Dogs‘ European Competition
7 October 2023: Meeting of Hungarian Grey Cattle Friends
21 October 2023: St. Dömötör’s Day Herd-In Festival, Handicraft Market & Crane Festival
2 December 2023: Santa Claus events and Christmas fair
For more information about what to see and do in the Hortobágy, click HERE.