St George’s Day was one of the highlights in the life of the shepherds. It was the day when the animals were driven out of their winter shelter. To commemorate this tradition, the Festival is an opportunity to get to know the shepherds and their animals of the Hortobágy. The good old, well used but still serving Nine-Hole Bridge, the cattle driven over it, the saddling of foals, the famous horse carriage and “Racka” sheep, are unforgettable sights. It is one of the days of the year that draws particular attention to the pastoralism of the World Heritage Site and the handful of shepherds who keep their ancestors’ craft alive.
The ceremony starts at 2:00 p.m. with the driving of the Racka sheep of Hortobágyi Nonprofit Kft. over the Nine-Hole Bridge. You will also be able to see six grey cattle and four rare buffalo, as well as the horse-drawn carriages. In the tradition of the old reckoning/accounting system, the acting reckoners will present the herd, workers, breeding stock and events of the past period under their control. As a tribute to the old shepherds, we also salute the Hereditary Shepherds of Hortobágy. To close the event, we will also enjoy a show of foals and bustards.
Detailed programme of the St. George’s Day Folding Feast and Handicraft Fair, our World Heritage Site’s Puszta Day:
Square in front of the Pastoral Museum::
10.00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The Hortobágy National Park Directorate will offer a mobile exhibition, nature games, and the Herman Ottó Institute, the Hungarian Ornithological Society and the Winged Folk Games team will be present. Products from producers with National Park Product Protected status and the Directorate’s own salami product will also be available for purchase.
Nine Hole Bridge and the adjacent riverbank:
2:00 p.m. to 2:20 p.m. Welcoming of guests, the arrival of shepherds, cattle and carriages across the Nine Hole Bridge to the Shepherds’ Museum
2:20 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Welcome speech, opening of the event – Gergely Árpád Medgyesi – Managing Director, Hortobágy Nonprofit Ltd.
2:30 p.m. to 2:40 p.m. Folk dance performance by the Debrecen Folk Ensemble
2:40 p.m.to 3:00 p.m. Introduction of the Hortobágy Hereditary Shepherds, the introduction of the new Hereditary Shepherd
2:50 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Presentation of the accountants of the Hortobágy Non-profit Ltd., presentation of their credentials – Gergely Árpád Medgyesi, Sándor Bodó
3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Presentation of the activities and breeding animals of the Hortobágy Nonprofit Ltd.
3:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Introduction of the audience to the shepherds and the animals
3:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Show of foals and bustards
4:00 p.m. Farewell – the herdsmen, cattle and carriages depart across the Nine Hole Bridge
Pastoral dishes and other delicacies await you.
The “Egerszalóki Tekergők” will provide the entertainment
Fairground (all day):
Handicraft fair, stove cooked food, fair atmosphere
The St. George’s Day Fiesta and Craft Fair, our World Heritage Site, is free of charge on Puszta Day.