In the Hortobágy, following an old folk tradition, shepherds and their livestock alike prepare for winter by driving their animals from the pastures of the puszta to their winter shelter. This tradition is held every year close to St. Dömötör’s Day. This year the St. Dömötör’s Day Herd-in Festival will be held on Saturday 21 October at the Mátai Stud Farm, together with the Crane Festival.
Visitors to the event will have the opportunity to meet the shepherds’ animals up close: Hungarian racka sheep, Noniusz horses, a four-horse herd of buffalo and a six-horse Hungarian grey cattle herd, which will parade past the shepherds, the horse riders, and the cattle herders.
The Hortobágy National Park Directorate’s Crane Festival program includes stage shows, folk and nature games, Ferkó Kádár’s Photo Theatre, and craft activities. The day will end with the dusk crane tour, where participants will be able to watch the breathtaking spectacle of the cranes migrating.
The tradition of the Shepherds’ Bonfire, which was revived last year, will be held this year too to mark the end of the grazing season.
Date: 21 October 2023 – Saturday – 10:00-18:00
Location: Máta Stud Farm
10.00: Opening ceremony with Tamás Májer
10.00: Kuckó Artists’ House
11.00: Garagulya Stilts Comedy Company
12.00 Puppet performance by Dávid Fekete
13.00: Crane Cake Embellishment Competition and Crane Cake Recipe Competition Award Ceremony
14.00-16.00 Entry Ceremony (Riding Arena):
– Parade of carriages, carts, shepherds, demonstration of herdsmen, presentation of hereditary shepherds
– Stallion and Puszta 5 demonstration
– Stallion driving
17.30 (Riding Arena): lighting of the shepherd’s fire
During the whole event:
– Locally prepared shepherd’s stew
– Green play island (MME, HOI and HNPI games – nature games)
– Arts and crafts activities and
– Craft Fair (80-100 crafts)
The Puszta carriage ride will not be available on this day!
The event is free of charge.