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The Kurultáj festival (Derzsi Elekes Andor / CC by SA 4.0)

Hungary’s Kurultaj Festival Celebrates Warrior Roots (Video)


Every year the Kurultaj Festival, hosted in Bugac, Hungary showcases a captivating reenactment of the country's ancient history, specifically the conquest by Hungarian tribes over a thousand years ago. Participants don period costumes, becoming horsemen of the steppes, and immerse the 22,000 festival visitors in the rich culture of tribal warriors. For many Hungarians, the event is a meaningful process of rediscovery, offering an alternative perspective on their nation's past, distinct from the version taught in schools during 40 years of communist rule.

However, some view this portrayal as linked to a nationalist ideology, highlighting the association of Hungarian history with the legendary feats of Attila the Hun. Despite debates over historical accuracy, the allure of nomadic culture is on the rise in Hungary, as evident by the increasing number of people identifying with it. A historical commission launched by Prime Minister Viktor Orban in 2013 aims to settle the matter conclusively. Regardless of the outcome, the spirited gallop of Attila and the Huns through the imagination of the Hungarian people will persist.

Top image: The Kurultáj festival (Derzsi Elekes Andor / CC by SA 4.0)

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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