August 17-20, 2019. It is the 33rd time that the country’s largest folk art festival, the Craft Festival, is held. Recalling the atmosphere of former fairs in the Budavári Palace, this year’s long-awaited family event, this year’s guest of honor will be Japan, and the highlight of the festival will be the making of footwear.
For the 33rd time this year, the Budavár Palace will be transformed into a Carpathian Basin holiday for craftsmen. It has nearly a thousand craftsmen, hundreds of performers, a full-day stage program, crafts shows and folk playhouses. With more than eight hundred Hungarian and one hundred and fifty foreign artisanal workshops, visitors can learn about the secrets of the trades. Those interested in meaningful relaxation here can feel as if they have tumbled away from everyday life into a medieval bustle. As every year, you will not only be able to admire our unique folk handicraft heritage, but in nearly 100 spectacular workshops, visitors can also try their handicrafts.
The 33rd Craft Celebration is a major topic of interest for many: footwear. Particular emphasis is placed on the Szeged slippers, exhibitions, fashion shows await those interested in the renaissance of today’s renaissance, the secrets of shoemakers and how our contemporary Hungarian shoe designers reinterpret traditional footwear. Also featured is the world-renowned master shoemaker whose family inherits the tricks of the profession from generation to generation. In their workshop they make perfectly fitting footwear for the customer’s foot, which is usually done with calfskin, but for more special pieces, they can use crocodile, salmon, shark, skate, ostrich or eel leather. Shoe makers from Iceland and Spain are also coming. In the workshop of the master from Turkey, Harry Potter film footwear can be admired.
On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Hungary, in 2019, Japan will be the guest of honor at the Craft Festival. With the help of Japanese craftsmen, you will get to know kimonos, fans, Japanese footwear, ceramics, furosiki bouquets, Kokesi dolls and much more. Visitors can also learn how to write a Japanese brush, fold paper, or even arrange bunches of fresh Japanese flowers, or taste Japanese food and drinks. In addition, visitors can learn about the most emblematic instrument of Japanese culture, the magician, the Japanese drum. The festival opens with an exotic, unknown, distant world from which we will all be richer.
It is a specialty to open the folk pub for the first time with folk karaoke, storytellers, singing lessons and a dance house. Communities on the UNESCO National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage: the Matyó, the “Mohács busos” and the blue-painted workshops this year will be exhibited.