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St. Dömötör’s Day Driving Festival and Crane Festival

In the Hortobágy, following an old folk tradition, shepherds and their livestock alike prepare for winter by driving the animals from the pastures of the bush to their winter shelter. Visitors to the event will be able to see the shepherds’ animals up close – Hungarian Racka sheep, Nonius horses, a four-horned buffalo herd, a six-horned Hungarian grey cattle herd – as they pass over the bridge in the company of shepherds, coltmen and goulash lovers.

During the all-day event:

  • Craft fair
  • shepherd’s stew
  • folk dance demonstrations
  • A tribute to the herdsmen of the pastoralists
  • An introduction to shepherds and their livestock
  • Foal and hortobágy five-in-hand show
  • Nature games and craft activities in the crane playground of the hortobágy national park.

After a long absence, the tradition of the shepherds’ bonfire will be revived to mark the end of the grazing season.

The Drive-in Festival begins at 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon, with the cattle driving over the Nine Hole Bridge, once again in full view.

Detailed Program

11:00 a.m.: Unveiling of the Crane statue group
Location: at the main entrance to the HNP Visitor Centre
Unveiling of the sculpture by Kossuth Prize-winning sculptor Sándor Györfi, with the Karinkó Folk Music Ensemble
The Hortobágy National Park will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year
12:00 p.m.: Cranberry recipe competition and cranberry cake decoration competition
Place: in front of the Pastoral Museum
2:00 p.m.: Ceremonial opening of the St. Dömötör’s Day Drive-in Celebration and Crane Festival
Location: riverside pond next to the Shepherd’s Gate Museum
Parade and presentation of the herdsmen of Hortobágy, Hortobágy shepherds and their livestock, with the Kisliget folk dance group (Nyíradony)
5:00 p.m.: Lighting of the shepherd’s fire
Location: behind the Shepherd Museum, at the foot of the Nine Hole Bridge

All day (10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.): nature and folk games, flea market, food from the stove

The event is free of charge.