The 20th August is an important date in Debrecen, not just because this is the date of Debrecen Flower Festival, but it is also the national and state holiday of Hungary, celebrating the anniversary of the consecration of Stephen I of Hungary. This year, besides the Flower festival festivities, there are several national exhibitions taking place. The first marks the importance of this day, an exhibition about the Christian heritage of St. Stephen, and another is the 39th Hungarian Press Photo Exhibition.
St. Stephen is venerated in Hungary as the founder of the Hungarian state. With his coronation as the first King of Hungary, the country entered into the group of Christian nations within Europe. Today, St. Stephen is the patron saint of Hungary.
Although born a pagan, he was later baptized and grew up as a Christian. He, as the son of a Magyar chieftain and leader known as “Géza”, married well to the daughter of Duke Henry II of Bavaria, who later become the Holy Roman Emperor Henry II.
After the death of his father in 997, he overcame a challenge by his cousin, who, according to the prior Árpad succession rules had a legitimate claim to the throne. As the victor, he executed his cousin for being pagan and was crowned on Christmas day 1000 AD with a gifted Crown from Pope Sylvester II, the iconic crown is a national treasure.
In 2020, the Transcarpathian Association’s mobile exhibition was launched, entitled “The Christian Legacy of St. Stephen – the Counties of the Hungarian Holy Crown”, beginning its 3 year journey to 17 locations commemorating the tragedy of Trianon.
The exhibition is based on the paintings of the painter Anton Kovach, who presents the county centers of historical Hungary through his paintings. The works, created from the artistic, cultural and historical journey of a renowned Transcarpathian Ruthenian painter with Hungarian roots over several years and thousands of kilometers, present the 64 county capitals of the once historical “Greater Hungary” with the tools of fine art.
Unfortunately, the epidemic situation badly disrupted the exhibition schedule. The traveling exhibition started in Esztergom at the former county hall (June 25th, 2020 – July 25th, 2020), then it moved in its entirety to the House of Arts in Szekszárd (August 20th, 2020 – October 2th, 2020), from where the part of the exhibition presents cities, migrated to Pécs, and was on view as part of the 28th All-Hungarian Festival of Hungarians Across the Border.
The exhibition of the painter Anton Kovách entitled “The Christian Legacy of St. Stephen – The Counties of the Hungarian Holy Crown” can now be seen from 23rd July to 5th September 2021 in the Bényi Árpád Hall of the Kölcsey Center.
39th Hungarian Press Photo Exhibition
The exhibition, compiled from the award-winning images and other photos received by the exhibition director for the competition, is an event that attracts many visitors every year. In Debrecen, this time as part of the Debrecen Flower Carnival program series, the exhibition will be open in the open space, in the pedestrian zone of Csapó Street , between 18th and 22nd August.
The winning photo of the event was taken by Simon Móricz-Sabján. An excerpt is the Voluntary Quarantine Diary, which won the 1st prize in the Everyday Life (series) category at the 39th Hungarian Press Photo Competition.
“Extraordinary times call for creative solutions. The 39th Hungarian Press Photo Exhibition, organized from the material of the 39th Hungarian Press Photo Competition, was moved to the open air by its organizers, the National Association of Hungarian Journalists and the CAPA Center. Adapting to the circumstances in this way, they present the best and most interesting press photos of the past year at the usual high quality level, taking care of everyone’s safety.
Accepting the intention of the Art Gallery to help, next to the largest exhibition hall in the country, starting from Heroes’ Square, those interested can see a new installation installed at the front of the Olof Palme promenade – this time all the award-winning photographs. ” (Curator Tamás Szigeti)