Hungary’s most famous carnival is currently taking place in the city of Mohács (Southern Hungary). This year, 1600 Busó’s are walking the streets, while about 80-100 thousand visitors are visiting the city during these days.
Busójárás or Busó-walking is an old, traditional custom at carnival time, held every year at the end of February and to until Shrove Tuesday. At this time of the year people are on the streets, dancing and singing and making a street-procession, many of which people are dressed in frightening, monster-like masks and fur coats.
According to hvg.hu’s report, this year a record-high number of 1600 people are going to be dressed up as a Busó, and 80-100 thousand visitors are expected.
From the 28th of February to 5th of March, the 6-day-long festival includes 80 programs in 35 locations within the city.
On Shrove Tuesday, the usual programs will be held, such as:
Coffin-burning (which symbolises the ‘death’ of winter), carnival street-procession, folk singing competition, dancing performances and mask-making lessons from the best mask-carvers of Hungary.
The very first memo of a busó-walking ceremony is from 1783, and it is originated from the ‘sokác’ ethnic group (or Šokci in Croatian). Legend has it that during the time of the Turkish occupation, the ‘sokác’ ethnic group were trying to find hideaways from the Turkish soldiers. When they found Mohács Island as a hiding place, the sokác dressed up in masks and disguise to scare the superstitious Turkish away from the island. The Turkish were rushing away, and supposedly this is the precise origin of the busó-walking in Mohács.
Featured image: MTI/ Tamás Sóki