Europe

Busos scare away Winter in Hungary.

Thought you hated the cold weather? The terrifying Hungarian festival where revelers don grotesque masks to scare off winter is a sight to behold.

Mohacs Busok (Mask-people from Mohacs town) The Busojaras (Hungarian, meaning “Buso-walking”) is an annual celebration of the Croatians living in the town of Mohacs, Hungary, held at the end of the Carnival season and ending the day before Ash Wednesday.

The Busó festivities are a six-day carnival in late February that involves a lot of activities, including a children’s costume contest, a display of the art of mask carvers and other craftspeople, the arrival of more than 500 busós in rowboats on the Danube for a march through the city alongside horse-drawn or motorized fantasy vehicles, the burning of a coffin symbolizing winter on a bonfire in the central square, and feasts and music throughout the city.

The tradition originated with the Croatian minority in Mohács, but today the busó is a general emblem of the city and a commemoration of the great events of its history. More than a social event, the carnival is an expression of belonging to a city, a social group and a nation. It plays an important social role by offering a chance for self-expression in a communal setting. The arts underlying the festivities are preserved by self-organized groups of busós of all cultural backgrounds, many of whom pass on the techniques of mask carving and ritual celebration to younger generations.

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