Hungarian Heritage Festival 2023 a Resounding Success!

April 29th, 2023

Hungarian expats and the local community gathered together to celebrate Hungarian heritage at this year’s Hungarian Heritage Festival, organized by the Kossuth Foundation.

Our second annual Hungarian festival in Washington received immense interest from the Hungarian expat community and locals alike. The celebration of Hungarian traditions attracted more close to 800 visitors on the afternoon of April 29 in McLean, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. The venue, nearly reaching its capacity limit, provided a wide range of programs and activities presenting Hungarian culture.

Sándor Végh, the President of the Kossuth Foundation, opened the festival with a quick overview of the work of the organization underlining the importance of the Kossuth House in downtown Washington—which houses a permanent library and serves as a venue for Hungarian events, including presentations, round-table discussions, film screenings and other Hungarian cultural programs . Among its permanent activities, the Kossuth Foundation provides Hungarian language courses, which are offered from beginner to advanced levels. The head of the organization emphasized that the Kossuth Foundation’s events would not be possible without volunteers from members of the Hungarian community.

Zita Mirk, Diaspora Liaison of the Hungarian Embassy, greeted the visitors on behalf of the diplomatic representation at the opening of the festival, and also thanked the organizing foundation on behalf of the H.E. Ambassador Szabolcs Takács who called it gratifying that it was possible to organize the event for the second time, which celebrates Hungarian culture, gastronomy and heritage The diplomat also brought the greetings of the Vice-President of the Hungarian Parliament to the leadership of the Kossuth Foundation.

The opening ceremony was followed with a performance by the Tisza Ensemble, which has been in existence for over 40 years, and was then followed by the Rózsafa Ensemble. The Kaptza Band and Magnólia Band were responsible for the music throughout the afternoon.

Visitors at the festival had the opportunity to buy unique Hungarian products and souvenirs, and also enjoyed a wide range of traditional Hungarian dishes accompanied by Hungarian wines and pálinka (a traditional Hungarian fruit spirit). This year, the line of people waiting for the Lángos (a traditional Hungarian fried dough) was the longest, but the goulash soup and the chimney cake were also a great success!

In addition to music, dancing and food, the children were able to learn about Hungarian folk customs and traditions through fun crafts. Among other things, soup noodle making, gingerbread decorating, face painting and coloring with folk motifs awaited them, but the Rubik’s cube and chess table also provided them with fun activities.

Local and national Hungarian associations based in Washington also had opportunities to present themselves at their exhibit booths outside. The Kossuth Foundation, the Hungarian Embassy in Washington, D.C., the Hungarian American Coalition, the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation and the ReConnect Hungary Program, the Hungary Foundation and their Hugo project, as well as the Reformed and Catholic Church Communities and the Hungarian School were also able to showcase their programs.

One particular goal of the Festival was to make Hungarian culture visible to Americans and to show the values, traditions, and strong heritage of the Hungarian people and diaspora to the world, while also uniting the Hungarian expat community. Overall, the festival was a huge success – Kossuth Foundation thanks its many supporters and volunteers, and likewise looks forward to welcoming visitors to its other upcoming events!

Photos of the event are available at this link.

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