UNESCO - Listed Buso Festival Begins In Mohács

  • 24 Feb 2017 7:10 AM
UNESCO - Listed Buso Festival Begins In Mohács
The popular end-of-winter Buso festival, a registered UNESCO cultural heritage event, began in Mohács, in southern Hungary, featuring around 1,300 Buso people wearing traditional wooden masks and sheepskin costumes marching in the city over the next six days.

Programmes include an anniversary gathering of bagpipers, a Buso wedding, “a folk singers” contest, folk dance shows and a workshop on making Buso masks. The spectacular festival will end with burning the coffin of winter on Shrove Tuesday in the city’s main square next week.

Buso procession is a folk custom of the local Croatian minority. The event recalls a legend of the ethnic group, according to which their ancestors, seeking refuge from the Turkish occupiers on the island of Mohacs on the opposite side of the Danube, crossed the river in boats at night, disguised in horrifying masks, and forced the superstitious soldiers of the enemy into panicked escape.

In an older, less popular story, the busos are scaring away not the Turks but winter itself. Buso procession was listed by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2009 and described as “a general emblem of the city and a commemoration of the great events of its history”.

It is expected to attract 80,000-100,000 spectators this year.

Republished with permission of Hungary Matters, MTI’s daily newsletter.

MTI photo: Ujvári Sándor

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