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Recently,  while sitting outside at the Skanzen’s coffee shop, still feeling the warmth of the late summer  Mr. Dr. Miklós Cseri, Director-general  welcomed the invited representatives of the press and media with their families to spend a nice day out in the countryside at the SKANZEN. He also mentioned to spread the news of the forthcoming days, weeks programs coming in November. After the director general’s friendly update he also come around with us showing the animals and the regional houses. We were also taken for a train ride to see the villages of the Hungarian regions.  Very well organised. Hearing the plans of events to come, November will most likely warm up and fill the visitors to have had spent a worthwhile day at the Skanzen.

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the St. Martin Day at  the Skanzen – Szentendre

November 9 – 11. 2012.

Hungarian annually kept this traditional day.  A  festival time of the year’s of enjoying the new wine and  the goose feast.

As a  folk tradition on the St. Martin Day,  the annual economic works are already done and the nature turn into the season of winter,  It’s the day to taste the new wine, collect the geese feathers to be filled in blankets and pillowcases to warm up in the beds. Today mainly only  out in the countryside, in small villages this tradition is still kept.  During these days it is most evident in the cities the consumption of eating geese in many spicy forms remained. There are many  legends connected  eating geese on St. Martin Day … The goose consumption in a number of superstitions alive and lives today as well. One is that, … If someone does not eat goose on St. Martin’s day, most likely will starve the whole year . Also was said in the countryside, as the folk wisdom …  If, there is a hard frost on the 11th of November, Christmas will be a slight time … If, the geese go on ice on St. Martin’s Day,  then there will be amble water at Christmas time … If, the weather is good on St. Martin’s Day, then it will be a very cold winter … If, on the day of St. Martin the weather is cheerful and mild, then most probably to have a hard and tough winter … If, on St. Martin’s Day the weather is cloudy, there will be a gloomy winter. Those who have a dream during the at night of November, 11, will be happy and so forth…

… If, anyone wish to join this day of celebration, won’t be a looser … so off you go for  eating geese and tasting the fresh, harmony wines from the year’s harvest. Just mentioning, the wine makers say this summer was good in the vineyard.

A complete farming and lifestyle house has been brought to Hungary from Pennsylvania.

Previously  owned by Hungarian emigrants in the last century. The owners are gone ahead, but their children offered the house with its full equipments to be shifted over to the Skanzen, because they wish the local Hungarians to get to know how those Hungarians lived, kept  their traditions tools and habits in their new homeland. Unfortunately, yet not out on the Skanzen fields. Hopefully, soon it will arrive and be on display at the Skanzen so people will be able to see another slice of living abroad by Hungarians. Another pleasant news was spread. As many may know there were, are still “Kibuc” communities in Israel. Talks have been going on with the israeli counterparts in having 3 complete “kibuc” house, previously lived by emigrants from Hungary to be shipped over to the Skanzen. Mr. Cseri said, “It is important for all of us, to keep the light on, to know, to see how those  Hungarians who once lived in Hungary, later left, living elsewhere around the world how they kept their traditions and facilities brought from the motherland.

The General-Director also  talked about one of the most delightful gathering during the season of Fall … the St. Martin Day, which is kept as an annual tradition at Szentendre in the Skanzen. There will be many folk related, programs, traditional attractions to be seen and needn’t have to worry about hunger, your two hands can be full as you wish with the regularly cooked traditional food on open-air fire or have a taste of the smocked goose thighs. St. Martin Days is also known as the “fresh wine” the new wine of the year to be tasted.

Now lets take a short trip down the history lane to see what’s Skanzen in general and in Hungary is about!

Skanzen holds an open-air ethnographic museums which was established by the end of the 19th century.  During the decades the museum  itself developed, which displayed folks life with their houses, outbuildings, furniture, baking and cooking tools, ceramics, jars, tins, glassware, small and big ovens, farming, earthenware pots, earthen pitchers and many household equipment and documents from the early days.

The first open-air museum in the world was established in Sweden in 1891 by Mr. Arthur Haselius, Swedish scientist, as to interpret, show and preserve those characteristic buildings from the various Swedish regions and ethnic groups. So here on is where and when the name, the term SKANZEN found its way to many languages and places around the world. After the WWII. this type of museums became to also open in Australia, N orth America and Asia.

In Hungary, the ethnographers were deeply influenced by the idea to have an open-air museum to be staged for the 1896, the millennium of the Hungarian conquest of our land and to have an ethnographic land of villages showing the village’s seen in those days with the 24 dwelling houses and their side farms. Regrettably, the Ethnographic Village was dismantled in 1896, but luckily many objects remained and kept safe. For over 70 years there were conventional doubts, the lack of financial support and political events (wars) prevented the idea to put into practise again the environment of the Skanzen.

During the year in 1949  surveys and basic research started. Database and land registrations were set up. The Hungarian ethnographers and protectors of monuments decided to lay down a foundation to rescue, save the 46 hectares area in the valley fields at the Hungarian Skanzen.

Hoping, by following the timeline with the clock’s hands for many these details will be interesting:

What happened around the World … What happened at the Skanzen in Hungary…?

1967 … In the World …miniskirts hit the world of fashion.

1967 … At the Skanzen …The open-air museum was founded on the outskirts of the village of Szentendre.

1972 … In the World … The Godfather, by Coppola was released.

1972 … The Skanzen was separated from the Ethnographic Museum and became an independent institution.

1974 … In the World … The popular ABBA group won the Eurovision  Song Contest with their song: Waterloo.

1974 … At the Skanzen … The 1st. permanent exhibition was opened: The “Upper-Tisza” region.

1981 … In the World … Columbia, space shuttle launched on its first voyage.

1981 … At the Skanzen … The museum is qualified as a Scientific Center.

1987 … In the World … In Washington D.C. Gorbachev and Reagan signs the treaty for the elimination of mid-range rockets.

1987 … At the Skanzen … The „Kisalföld” regional unit is completed.

1993 … In the World … Mr. Nelson Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

1993 … At the Skanzen … The Western Transdanubia regional unit was opened.

2000 … In the World … The nuclear-submarine „Kursk” sank with its whole crew.

2000 … Mr. Ferenc Mádl, President of the Republic opens the „Bakony” – “Balaton-Uplands” regional unit.

2003 … In the  World … Mother Theresa of Calcutta was beatified by Pope John Paul II.

2003 … At the Skanzen … Ethnographic Study Collection and Skanzen Gallery were opened.

2005 … In  the World … Pope  John Paul II. died.

2005 … At the Skanzen …The Southern Transdanubia regional unit was  completed.

2006 … In   the World … Italy wins the Football World Cup for the 4th time.

2006 … At the Skanzen … The Upland Market town unit was opened.

2007 … In the World …The last of the Harry Potter series was issued.

2007 … At the Skanzen …The Hungarian government puts forward the Skanzen Heritage Program for EU subsidy.

Part2. … to be continued with updates of the 2012 SPAR European Cross Country Championships to be held also in  November at the  Skanzen’s Open-air Museum – Szentendre, Hungary.

Update and snaps by  Aggie Reiter

15 responses to this post.

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