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Debrecen Advent Fair Programs – Details

The Debrecen Advent Fair opened at Kossuth Square and Piac Street on November 23rd, providing a cosy community space with vendors supplying unique handmade products, irresistible delicacies and soul-warming hot drinks. 

In the advent of the hustle and bustle, we can enjoy the 45-meter giant wheel, while our youngest can take a ride on the Vili train (December 2-23).

30 November: Bethlehem in the Old Town Hall

From November 30, the Old Town Hall will open its gate. In its inner courtyard, figures of Bethlehem can be seen together with biblical animals thanks to the help of the Debrecen Zoo and Botanical Garden.  In addition to those images, the wilderness of Hortobágy will be also displayed. In addition to the permanent programs, there are other nature-based attractions on the weekends, i.e. Természettár (Association of Nature) shows what we can do for animals, especially for the birds and other wildlife species, in winter. 

Opening hours of the Old Town Hall:  Saturday and Sunday 9 AM 9 PM, weekdays 4 PM – 8 PM (November 30 – December 22, 2019)

1 December: The first candle lightning and the Giant Christmas Calendar

The candle lighting begins on December 1st.  On this day, the shepherds of Hortobágy arrive in Debrecen at 10 am to light the first candle of the Advent wreath at the worship service of the Small Church. At 5 pm on Kossuth Square, with the participation of the Lautitia Chorus Family, hundreds of participants will sing together to celebrate the first Sunday of Advent and listen to the thoughts of our Mayor László Papp and the bishops, with a backdrop of the festive Christmas lights. 

The program is accompanied by the performance of the Street Theater, Artist’s House “Kuckó Művésztanya”, Debrecen Folk Ensemble and the Lautitia Chorus Family. Special guests are Francesca Provvisionato, Botond Gulyás and Fruzsina Erdős.

You can also see a Giant Advent Calendar placed next to the main stage which windows will open 6 PM every day to deliver important messages throughout the Advent celebration period.  

5 December: Santa is Coming to Town

Santa Claus, Juolupukki, arrives from Rovaniemi to the  city at 4 PM on 5th December and welcomes children in his house that day. Santa’s home away from home will be an Advent Hut, he will be available from December 9, and children can participate in a range of craft activities, please note that you can also submit your donations for people in need as well. 

15 and 21 December: Unique ice sculptures on the main square

On December 15 and 21, Zsolt M. Tóth, ice sculptor extraordinaire will carve special figures out of huge ice blocks on Kossuth Square. Zsolt M. Tóth has been making ice sculptures since 1996 and he has become well-known to the general public after winning the public prize at the Graz Ice Sculptors World Championship in 2002. This year we can see his wonderful ice sculptures in Debrecen.

8, 15, 22 December: The second, third and the last candle lightning 

Deputy Mayor Lajos Barcsa will give a welcome speech and light up the second candle at 5 PM on 8th December,  while Deputy Mayor Ákos Balázs will light up the third candle at 5 PM on the 15th of December at the Kossuth square. You could also enjoy the performance of Artist’s House “Kuckó Művésztanya”, the Choir of the Hungarian Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity, the dancers of the Debrecen Folk Ensemble and the”Pendely” Singing Ensemble.

The fourth candle of the Advent wreath will be lit by at 5 PM on the 22nd of December. The candlelight on Kossuth Square is preceded by a singing march starting at 16.45 from the Old Town Hall, featuring members of the ORT-IKI Puppet and Street Theater, the Artist’s House “Kuckó Művésztanya” and the Hajdú Dance Ensemble. Guests will include Kinga Újhelyi act and Dr. András Csókay neurosurgeon.