Obuda Advent Fair, Budapest, Hungary

Here is a paragraph from a November 2011 letter talking about the Advent Fair at Fo Square in Obuda.

If Pest has a Christmas Market, folks on the other side of the river in Buda, or in this case Obuda (Old Buda) need their own Christmas fair.  The Obuda fair is almost completely Hungarian, it’s smaller and kid oriented.  There’s a live stage featuring an accordion player who goes from a traditional dance into “Oh Lady Be Good.”  There’s also a skating rink, but many of the booths have more the feel of a flea market, with antique household items and tables of used books.  Like downtown, there was cheese, ham and lots of wine as well as crafts, but charmingly there were muscle powered, wooden carnival rides for kids.  One is a horse on which the child sits.  The operator cranks the horse up a slight incline and then, controlling the release of the chain, the kid on the horse, wooden sword in hand, rides down to stick his sword into a ring.  There is also one of those circular swings where kids sit in baskets and the operator turns the hub by hand as the baskets go round and round and swing out.  A dog chases “his” child as the basket swings out.  The Obuda district mayor “ignites” the first Advent candle followed by the “Hot Jazz” ensemble of Old Buda.

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