Festivals & Events
Festivals & Events
The city hosts a large number of gastronomic events throughout the year which attract thousands of visitors and tourists to Debrecen. Some of these festivals include:
The Campus Festival is one of the country’s biggest popular music festivals. The open-air music festival takes place in July and features more than 200 concerts and DJ performances in 19 venues, as well as a wide range of other events every year. In addition to Hungarian bands, international artists such as Dutch DJ Tiesto, Norwegian singer Aurora, Swedish pop diva Zara Larsson and British duo Chase & Status have also performed at the event. For more information, visit the website here.
Debrecen Drive is the largest automotive event in the region, where participants not only get to touch the vehicles, but also enjoy serious demonstrations and other activities. There are usually 150-200 show cars from nearly 30 brands, many of which are not even in the showrooms. Visitors are usually also able to see premium classics and ‘top of the range’ sports cars, as well as power and work machines; unique trucks; logistics robots; and military vehicles. For more information, visit the website here.
Debrecen Flower Festival
The 20th August is the national and state holiday of Hungary and the anniversary of the consecration of Stephen I of Hungary. In Debrecen, it is also the day of the Flower Carnival. It is a real attraction, drawing in visitors from across the country and internationally ever since it was first organised in 1966. With a 56-year tradition, the carnival is now far more than just a parade of spectacular floral compositions and international artistic ensembles, – it is a week-long colourful programme of events where visitors can find the entertainment that appeals to them most. For more information, visit the website here.
Beer by Lake
During the Debrecen Flower Festival in August, more than a hundred local and international beers, ales and craft beers will be served in the shade of the trees of the Great Forest, in front of the Great Forest Open Air Stage. For more information, visit the website here.
Galiba Children’s Festival
During the Debrecen Flower Festival in August, the Debrecen Zoo and Amusement Park hosts the Galiba Children’s Festival. The week-long carnival aims to cater for all needs and appeal to all ages, with interactive and exciting stage performances and games. For more information, visit the website here.
Debrecen Night Ride
The Debrecen Night Ride takes place during the Debrecen Flower Festival in August. The event is becoming more and more popular every year. Employees of various companies and individual participants, families, and friends come to the huge night bike parade, where it’s all about colourful and imaginatively decorated bikes. For more information, visit the website here.
Debreczeni Zamat Street & Classic Food Festival
The festival was held for the first time in 2010. Visitors have the opportunity to taste the gastronomic specialties of the most famous restaurants in Debrecen and the most delicious palinkas in the country. The uplifting atmosphere of the festival is provided by the most popular Hungarian bands and performers. For more information, visit the website here.
Debrecen Wine & Jazz Days
The oldest continuous annual jazz festival (since 1972), the Debrecen Jazz Days, and the most popular wine festival of the Northern Great Plains, the Debrecen Wine Carnival, paired up in 2015 to offer a real “gastro-jazz” experience for jazz and wine lovers featuring live jazz bands and top-ranked Hungarian family wineries. The festival is held in the heart of the Great Forest and is a highly popular event in the city’s cultural life. For more information, visit the website here.
Debrecziner Gourmet Festival
The festival aims at showcasing the authentic ingredients and exciting flavours the region has to offer. At the three-day festival, fine dining restaurants, bistros, and food trucks prepare their delicious dishes in a creative way and offer a special gastronomic experience to visitors of the festival. For more information, visit the website here.
Martin’s Day Goose Feast
St. Martin’s Day is celebrated on the 11th of November in Hungary. It is a traditional feast day in the country celebrated with tasting new wines and eating geese. Entertainment for all ages is guaranteed by the performance of local bands, orchestras, and art groups.
Debrecen Mangalica Festival
Mangalica is a Hungarian breed of domestic pig with a thick and curly coat of hair. The festival, usually held around February, is dedicated to showcasing primarily products made of this animal, as well as other organic products made by small-scale producers, including dairy products, honey, and syrup. The culinary experience of visitors is accompanied by a series of cultural programmes. For more information, visit the website here.
Béla Bartók International Choir Competition and Folklore Festival
The music festival, founded in 1961, is one of the most prestigious choir competitions in the world today. It aspires to exhibit high-quality, contemporary acapella choir pieces. Folklore nights, dance houses, culinary programmes, church performances, and joint singing events complement the programme of the competition. To learn more about this world-renown competition, visit the event’s official website.
Debrecen Spring Festival & Art Exhibition
In addition to classical music, jazz, and pop concerts, even performers experimenting with multiple genres are introduced to the audience. The theatrical repertoire also includes some dance performances. Fine art is brought closer to the visitors by the annual Debrecen Spring Exhibition.
Debrecen Autumn Festival
The Debrecen Autumn Festival is one of the most momentous programmes in the city’s cultural life, offering a wide range of entertainment options for all age groups. The festival’s repertoire includes concerts, theatrical and dance performances, folk art and children’s programmes, and thematic film festivals featuring the outstanding characters of Debrecen’s art scene too to provide an even more colourful festival programme.
The festival, held for the first time in 2017, pays tribute to the Debrecen-born world-renowned novelist of the 20th century, who has publications in 42 countries and in over 30 languages. Some of her most famous works worldwide include Abigél (“Abigail”, 1970), Régimódi történet (“Old-fashioned story”, 1977), Az ajtó (“The door”, 1987) and Für Elise (2002). She received 22 Hungarian and international prizes, including the French literary prize Prix Femina Etranger for the best foreign novel in 2003. In the programme series offered as part of MagdaFest, theatre, music, fine arts, dance and film all play an important role. Some of the productions are in English. The festival focuses primarily on showing the fate of women, and thus, it showcases works created predominantly by female artists.
Held in the springtime in the Csokonai National Theatre, the annual festival showcases theatrical dramas and performances created by contemporary artists. Even though most artists are from Hungary, the festival also hosts productions from beyond the border and abroad. Therefore, some of the performances are in a foreign language. For more information, visit the following website.
Debrecen Christmas Fair
Advent is a special time in the cultural life of Debrecen, filled with exciting programmes which help residents and visitors to get into the Christmas spirit. Some of these events include a candle-lighting ceremony on the city’s Advent wreath, concerts, traditional performances, as well as a spectacular Christmas market offering unique craft products, delicacies, and heart-warming hot drinks. In addition, visitors can have a good time by riding on the Ferris wheel, skating on the ice rink, and drinking hot chocolate in the German Christmas cabin, all set up on the city’s main square. For more information, visit the following website.
St. Michael’s Day Fair
The largest open-air county fair in the country is held twice a year, in the springtime and the autumn. The fair opens Saturday morning and closes Sunday evening, offering a wide variety of products, such as crafts, clothes, delicacies, and homeware, to mention but a few. The fair also hosts a small recreational park with various rides available primarily for children.
Debrecen Antique Fair
This unique fair is held on every other Sunday, primarily during the summer season. The venue of the fair is the parking lot of the Tesco shopping centre on Kishegyesi Street. For those who would like to find antique furniture, books, or anything vintage, this is the place to be. To learn the schedule of the fair, visit the following website.
Farmer-Expo International Agricultural and Food Exhibition
The largest and one of the oldest and most prestigious agricultural exhibitions in Hungary is held on the Campus of the Agricultural Research Institute and Farm of the University of Debrecen. This four-day event, held in August, is attended by hundreds of exhibitors and visitors each year and offers professional and audience programmes including animal and machine tool trade shows, conferences, and business meetings. For more information, visit the website here.