Last year, the Christmas Fair in Budapest’s Vörösmarty Square, one of the most popular winter fairs in Europe, had to move to an online space due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year, however, the iconic Christmas Fair once again awaits visitors on the city’s focal square, with measures to ensure the safety of partakers from 19 November all the way to Christmas.
The start of the holiday season is signalled by the arrival of Christmas fairs. Cities transform into winter wonderlands with string lights illuminating the streets and the finely decorated trees. While many markets chose not to open in 2020, numerous European markets are back this holiday season, with safety measures in place.
The iconic Budapest Advent and Christmas Fair in Vörösmarty Square, which has been organised in the capital every year since 1998, opened on Vörösmarty Square on Friday.
In accordance with current legislation, the event can only be attended with an immunity certificate,
writes Hvg. In addition, cash-free shopping will be introduced at catering units for the first time this year to reduce epidemiological risk.
The programs include lighting up a candle on the Advent wreath every Advent weekend, and there will be a festive light show on the façade of the Gerbeaud House from 1 December, announced Budapest Brand.
On 5 December, Joulupukki, the real Santa Claus, will also visit Vörösmarty Square.
In addition to the traditional food and drink repertoire of the fair, gastronomic delicacies will also be available at the “Gourmets” section. You can find the map of the fair below:
As we have already reported, the entire venue is surrounded by barriers, and three – or four on more crowded days – gates will ensure fast monitoring. Visitors are required to present a valid immunity certificate, along with a document proving their identity (ID, passport, driver’s licence).
According to the official website of the Christmas fair,
non-Hungarian citizens may prove their immunity by showing
1. their immunity card issued by a state whose immunity cards are recognised by Hungary,
2. their European Union digital Covid certificate, which proves that the person concerned has been vaccinated with a vaccine recognised by the relevant government decree,
3. or has recovered from the infection.
A person has immunity through recovery from the infection if they prove with a digital Covid certificate that 15 days have passed since their last positive PCR test or rapid antigen test but that 180 days have not yet passed.
It is also important to note that organisers may restrict the number of visitors allowed to be present at the fair at any point in time, in accordance with the effective epidemiological measures.
“In love and safety.” This year’s Advent at the basilica fair opened with this motto on Friday. This year, the feast, which was voted the best Christmas market in 2020 and Europe’s second most spectacular fair, opens for the 12th time at St. Stephen’s Square. In view of the epidemiological situation, organisers encourage visitors to read the policy of the fair carefully and celebrate Christmas and enjoy the holiday spirit accordingly.
After 2020’s special online format, this year, craftsmen and culinary professionals return to St. Stephen’s Square. Like every year,
a huge, shared Christmas tree will be decorated, which will stay there in addition to an Advent wreath and a Christmas crib throughout the weeks of the fair.
Starting with 28 November, a candle-lighting ceremony will be conducted on all Sundays. The programs also include a photo exhibition, an ice skating rink, and a mesmerising light show that will be projected to the façade of the Basilica every day at 16:30.
Visiting the Christmas fair is free of charge, but visitors must have a valid immunity certificate or a negative PCR test result issued within 72 hours. Underage visitors are allowed to enter with an immunity certificate or if they are accompanied by an adult who has an immunity certificate.