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Debrecen Advent 2020

The preparation for this year’s Advent has been different from previous years due to the pandemic situation, the streets, and squares, once full of people are empty, and instead of the pulsating city life and buzz, this year silence is the dominating feature in Debrecen. 

However, this does not mean that we have to give up experiencing joy, hope and gratitude, only this time we must do so in a different ways.

In the spirit of this altered Christmas, Debrecen is preparing wonderful festive decorative lighting, many free attractions and online holiday programs, trusting that they will help to bring the intimate moments of the holiday to everyone.

Festive lights

Although the traditional holiday programs are minimized and there is no Christmas market this year, there is at least festive light from the first Sunday of Advent, November 29, Debrecen is once again bathed in festive light . This year, like last, about 200,000 light sources have been installed in the city, and the Christmas tree erected on the main square is decorated with 16,500 burners. Colorful candles and angels, bright Christmas stars and bells, trees decorated with garlands of light, bushes and candelabra provide a wonderful view throughout the city. On Market Street, the popular light tree, the stylized angel figures blowing the trombone, the huge Christmas sphere and the light fountain can be seen again, and the popular light tram will run again this year .

The center of Debrecen dressed in a festive decoration

Flower Cart and Manger

A novelty this year is that in the main square of Debrecen, in addition to the city’s Christmas tree and the manger of Bethlehem, there is also a flower carriage . Composed of elements symbolizing Christianity and Hungarian history, the composition entitled “My Grace is Enough for You” was made in honor of the year of national togetherness during the flower carnival, and now it can be seen again free of charge on Kossuth Square as part of the Advent of Debrecen.

“My grace is enough for you” flower cart

Donation House and Christmas Display

This year, the now traditional Christmas fundraising cannot be missed in Debrecen either . The City of Debrecen and the Debrecen Charitable Board, together with the historical churches, this time opened the “Give on!” At the Kölcsey Center cottage , where “love boxes” are waiting until December 23, with which we can help elderly people in troubled or difficult-to-live families . A surprise awaits donors and walkers, as a peaceful, miraculous winter landscape unfolds in the shop window of the Kölcsey Center facing Hunyadi Street. The unusual showcase exhibition features a snow-covered landscape studded with lush pine trees and a quietly hidden forest cottage in which, if we are attentive, we can even see Santa Claus.

Showcase exhibition at the Kölcsey Center

Advent Candle Lights

It has been a tradition in Debrecen for several years now that representatives of the city and the historical churches light candles together on Advent Sundays. The tradition will not break this year either, it will only move to the online space, on the Debrecen Advent Facebook page we can follow the events, the lighting of candles and festive thoughts live on Sunday afternoons, and then the free concert .

advent candle lighter
Advent candle lighting

Advent Programs in the Online Space

We have to give up on live programs in December this year, but not on cultural experiences. The cultural institutions of Debrecen will help you prepare for the holiday with online events for the rest of the year. 

The 13th season of the traditional Great Church Advent Concerts awaits those interested at 7 pm on Monday evenings, this time online, with stars such as pianist Csilla Szentpéteri, the two-time Kossuth Prize and Prima Primissima Prize winner Kaláka ensemble and Takács Nikolas. The Kodály Philharmonic Orchestra awaits classical music fans with online concerts on Tuesday evenings from 7.30 pm. The Apollo Cinema has made Advent film afternoons every Saturday afternoon from 4 p.m., during which there will be not only screenings that guarantee spiritual recharge, but also intimate conversations with representatives of church denominations. 

Children’s programs are available, on Sunday mornings the Vojtina Puppet Theater with free online puppet shows. It is also worth following the communal spaces of the Csokonai Theater , the Museum of the Reformed College in Debrecen and the House of Literature in Debrecen, where those interested are welcomed with festive content every day of the Advent period. Online events can be followed on the official Facebook page of the institutions.