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Shepherding the stock on the Day of Saint George

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Dieser Brauch ist am 12.05.2018.


It is a one day long tradition that I heard about from one of my folk dancer friends.
Shepherding the stoch on the Day of Saint George2.jpg
Shepherding the stoch on the Day of Saint George1.jpg
Every year it is held on the Saturday of Saint George’s week on Hortobágy’s fair-ground. This event takes us back in time and shows the life of shepherds and people as it was years ago. Apart from these, they say goodbye to winter and welcome spring with fire, as well. Many interesting and folk-related programmes attract the attendants, such as caressing domestic animals, fairs, and also story-telling, not to mention one of the most spectacular moments of the day which is actually the starter of the traditional day. It is the time when the herdsmen shepherd the live-stock through the Nine-holed Bridge of Hortobágy. Several animals can be seen, such as horses, cattle, lambs, goats, and so on. It represents an old habit, according to which the herds are in charge of the stock all day, and they take all the responsibility if something happens to the animals. In the past, both the keeper and the shepherd counted the animals before grazing. In order to remember how many of them were taken to the steppe and how many of them returned, they imprinted the number on a wood. That was the way how the owners kept tally on their stock. Another programme is the performance of Hungarian folk dancers. Their aim is to preserve our traditional dances, for instance the czardas, men’s solo dance, circle dance performed by women, and jumping dances. Moreover, there are equestrian performances during the day, which are must-sees. All in all, this event is short; nevertheless, it is action-packed, which makes it rather worth visiting.

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