Tuesday, August 14, 2012

KURULTAJ: Traditional festival

The Kurultuj traditional festival started last Friday and ended on Sunday. It is one of Europe's largest cultural events. It celebrates the culture and history of the Hun-Turkic-Hungarian peoples. The Hungarians, or also known as Magyars, were an eastern people that migrated from regions near Mongolia in the far east over 1,000 years ago. They travelled all the way to Europe and finally settled in Transylvania (modern day Romania) and the Carpathian Basin (modern Hungary). After settling, they would adopt the European lifestyle and become Christians dropping their pagan lifestyle and beliefs. 

The Kurultuj Festival started just a few years ago but attracts over 100 thousand visitors yearly. There are many Hungarians who keep the old traditions of the Magyars alive today. The festival is a great way of uniting Hungarians who share this passion. It also invites many cultures and nationalities that are ethnic kin of the Magyars. There were individuals and groups invited from Bulgaria, Turkey, Mongolia and Uyghuristan. Many others came from countries in the east where the Magyars migrated from over 1,000 years ago.

Arrival of the Magyars in Carpathian Basin (The Hungarian Conquest)

There were many displays, exhibitions and activities highlighted at the festival. There were equestrian, archery and musical displays preformed by many experts, reinactors and entertainers from various countries. Hungarian József Mónus, the world record holder in long distance archery shooting, set a new world record at Kurultaj by hitting a target from 453 meters in memory of King Attila's death in 453 AD. The weather conditions were beautiful all weekend as thousands enjoyed the festivities of Kurultuj. Due to its popularity, the Kurultuj will continue yearly attracted thousands from all over the world.

For more on Kurultuj check their website out: http://kurultaj.hu/english/