Busó Festivities 2014

Spring is coming, and in the historic town of Mohács, the Busó festival helps the outgoing winter to leave, as masked horrors prowl the streets and make a terrific din! The festival goes on until shrove Tuesday (March 4th), so take a look!

The festival known as Busó (pr. boo-sho) takes place every year in one place only- the town of Mohács (pr. moe-haatsh) in southern Hungary. It lasts several days and nights (this year 27th February-4th March) and is a fiercely- held tradition to local people in this ethnic Croat region of Hungary.

Men dressed in shaggy sheepskin costumes and bizarre horned wooden masks come up from the banks of the River Danube and emerge into town making a terrible racket with cowbells and rattles and accompanied by gangs of 'Jankele' local children dressed in rags who enthusiastically help with all the noise! The culmination of the event is a bonfire and burning of a coffin (to symbolise winter itself.)

The festival is also held to commemorate a great Battle in Mohács in 1687, when the Turks were driven off, allegedly by local warriors in terrifying masks. Nowadays all foreign visitors are welcome and in fact this is something of an attraction across all the neighbouring countries, with Hungarian folk music and dancing, handicrafts and local delicacies to sample.

The full schedule of events can be found elsewhere, but the remaining events are the visits of the Busos to local houses around Kóló Square on March 3rd, and more Busoó marauding on the afternoon of 4th March continuing to the lighting of the bonfire at Szechényi Square and music and dancing into the night.

Did you know? Busó festivities at Mohács is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Click here to read more about this!