It’s the Year of the Rabbit … on your mark … get reading … Go for it!

Every country has what to do, what to eat and what not to eat and do on the first day of the New Year. In Hungary, according to the Gregorian calendar, focuses on religions and folklore, on the first day of the year, lentils are the main lucky bringer, for example: “lentil soup or heavy lentil soup (lencsleves) in other words, lentil stew, lentil burgers.  lentil stew - lencsfőzelék Of course, this tradition is kept not only in Hungary, but also in many other countries … Spaniards, Portuguese, Cubans and the Austrians also. Now back to the the Lunar New Year, which is celebrated primarily by Chinese diasporas and other East Asian cultures as well as the Vietnamese, begin this Sunday, January, 22.2023., kicking off 15 days of festivities and customs.

While the preceding Year of the Tiger was seen as a powerful period of action, and at this time, impulse, the rabbit sign which is expected to usher in a softer period focused on self-reflection.

For example, stop cleaning today and hide your cleaning tools, otherwise you will be cleaning all year long. Wear new clothes and get rid of old ones. Today, it is not allowed to pronounce words with a negative meaning, to mention death, illness, ghosts, but even in a positive context, we avoid negative words (for example, “damn good”). It is also not recommended to mention the past year, as the purpose of the day is to bring abundance in the new year. So they say crying is also not allowed: if someone cries on the first day of the year, he will cry for the whole year, which is why the sick also get out of bed on this day.

If you decorate today, red and orange are the mandatory colors: red is the color of abundance, luck, wealth, so red flags, wall stickers, pictures, lanterns are placed everywhere to ensure the growth of the family, and next to the red decorations, the New Year an essential ingredient is orange. This is because the words “mandarin” – kam, “gold”  kam) and “sweet” sound the same in the Cantonese dialect. Because it symbolizes health and longevity, peanuts are also often found on New Year’s tables. An important New Year’s accessory is the octagonal tray, on which guests are offered eight types of snacks.All of these bring good luck: rice flour cake – kao, for example, sounds the same as “high” – kao, so it symbolizes that its consumer will move up the social ladder in the new year. For similar reasons, seaweed symbolizes enrichment, lotus seeds the bountiful blessing of children, and dried tofu (soybean cheese) symbolizes wealth and happiness. Wish to my readers a lucky Year of the Rabbit!

Overall by: Aggie Reiter

Day of Hungarian Culture – Exhibition and Craft Works – Budapest 2023.

KAFF Studio Event 2023

An exhibition organized on the occasion of the Day of Hungarian Culture, which will be held on Sunday, January 22, 2023 at 9.20 a.m. in the Cinema MOM movie theater. Venue:  District, XII., Budapest, 53. Alkotás street. Budapest.

Participation in the folktale screening, the exhibition and the craft session is free of charge. The exhibition is on display until March 22.

The exhibition was put together by the director of the episode, Mária Horváth, from the images of the episode “Cerceruska” from the 2002 series of the Kecskemét Animation Film Studio –  Magyar Népmesék – Hungarian Folk Tales.

At the opening, Ferenc Mikulás – founder and manager of the Kecskemét Animation Film Studio, will give a welcome the audience  and hopefully  Mária Horváth – Director of Cerceruska and a founding member of the Kecskemét Animation Film Studio, will also be present.

The opening of the exhibition, from 9.45 a.m. to 10.45 a.m.  Following the opening  event, children, parents and grandparents are invited to a craft session by watercolor painter and art teacher Emese Szandavári, Head of Art’Em Studio, who will hold an interactive creative workshop, connected to the rich motifs of Cerceruska.

After the craft program – after a short break hot chocolate and cake to be served for the children. The program series ends with a live music puppet show concert called Marzipan – The Cat (and The Lion) from 11 a.m. The fairy tale is one of the most popular domestic puppet theater productions, and generations have grown up on its entertaining story. In the spectacular, interactive performance, the leading singer-musician-actor married couple: Katalin Zsámár and Tamás Gay tell stories, sing, play the guitar, and play the saxophone while enlivening the story of Marzipan -The Cat.

Update: Aggie Reiter

The Elephant Man – 40-year-old – British-American Film Drama – Digitally Restored Screening @ Hungary’s Cinemas

publicpreview the elephant man 2023

A creepy, moving and sad film drama based on a true story about the life of John Merrick who lived in the 19th century.

Director: David Lynch

Brilliant performances by: Sir Anthony Hopkins and John Hurt

Length of screening: 120 mins. Age limit: 16.

The anniversary version of The Elephant Man will be @ Hungary’s cinemas under the care of Pannónia Entertainment Ltd.

Premiere: Sunday; January. 29, 2023.

Synopsis …In Victorian London, Dr. Frederick Treves with the London Hospital comes across a circus sideshow attraction run by a man named Bytes called “The Elephant Man”. In actuality, the creature on display is indeed a man, twenty-one-year-old Joseph “John” Merrick, who has several physical deformities, including an oversized and disfigured skull, and an oversized and disfigured right shoulder. Brutish Bytes, his “owner”, only wants whatever he can get economically by presenting Merrick as a freak. Treves manages to bring Merrick under his care at the hospital, not without several of his own obstacles, including being questioned by those in authority since Merrick cannot be cured. Treves initially believes Bytes’ assertion that mute Merrick is an imbecile, but ultimately learns that Merrick can speak and is a well-read and articulate man. As news of Merrick hits the London newspapers, he becomes a celebrated curiosity among London’s upper class, including with Mrs. Kendal, a famed actress. Despite being treated much more humanely, the question becomes whether Treves’ actions are a further exploitation of Merrick. And as Merrick becomes more famous, others try to get their two-cents worth from who still remains a curiosity and a freak to now, including to Bytes, who has since lost his meal ticket. Actually, his story is both moving and sad, as a result of the complications he lived only 27 years.

David Lynch, the directors of Twin Peaks, Lost World, Mulholland Drive, Blue Velvet, nominated for 8 Oscars, and his visionary story, which was brought to black-and-white film.

Update by Aggie Reiter

Herald News – HBO Max kicks off this year with home entertainment in Hungary.

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The press presentation was held at the ETELE cinema complex in Budapest by Ádám Pinczés-Pressing – PR Manager, HBO Max EMEA: HBO Hungary. The topics were about: HBO Max 2022 Year Evaluation – Toplists – This Year’s Plans – Important Announcements, followed by the first episode of “The Last of Us” screening (90 minutes)

Over the course of the past year, Hungarian HBO has gone through enormous changes … March 8, the previous HBO Go became HBO Max, which not only made the interface much more user-friendly – since 4K movies have arrived, and can also created 5 different accounts – but subscribers received much more content than before. In 2022, the number of subscribers were above 30%, and that of registrants was 40%. The Dragons captured viewers everywhere in Amsterdam. After Poland, Hungary took the second place with HBO region subscribers. The Informant received more attention than the Batman. HBO and Max were also great success even though without the cinema release. Continued with this years plans … HBO Max is preparing for huge changes again this year … the 1st of January the Warner Bros. Discovery channel is expanding its “family” to include CNN, TLC, Discovery and EUROSPORT. The latter is important because EUROSPORT, and thus WB, acquired the right to broadcast the Summer Olympic Games. What is expected in 2023 …The first quarter will also be rich in films and series: Last of us, Perry Mason, White House Plumbers and the next season of Succession will be shown. True Detective is also coming with a new season, an exciting crime drama starring Jodie Foster, but we can also see Love & Death starring Elizabeth Olsen. Last but not least, the Hungarian reality show A Híd (The Bridge), which was filmed in Romania in the summer, will be presented. This is HBOMax’s first reality show. Beside new content to Cinematrix, Discovery and HGTV for crime adventures folks at the ID TV, new TRUECRIME series are coming. It was an adventurous year for Hungarian HBO, as HBO Go became HBO Max, and the developments are not over yet: the interface will be transformed this year. HBO Max now will include, among others, Discovery, Animal Planet, TLC and the Olympic Games. According to plans, Discovery+ and HBOMax will begin to be merged this year. In America, this process already started this year, but in Hungary it is not expected until 2024. At the press conference was also said that they are also planning to stream sports broadcasts. At the press gathering was on screen the list the most watched films and series in the year 2022, including the Hungarian-produced series The Informer, which was shown on the site for only 3 months. By-the-way, the Besúgó (Informer) on Skyshowtime will be coming later on this year. The most watched movies on HBO Max 2022: Dune Batman Legendary Animals and Their Observation: Dumbledore’s Secrets The lost city House of Gucci Uncharted Elvis Matrix: Resurrections Venom 2. Happy father The most watched series on HBO Max House of dragons The informer Game of Thrones Euphoria Rick and Morty The Handmaid’s Tale Last step Brainiacs Friends White lotus HBO Max is here, but what about HBO GO and HBO NOW? HBO Max is a stand-alone streaming platform that bundles all of HBO together with even more TV favorites, blockbuster movies, and new Max Originals for everyone in the family to enjoy. Stream Friends, Looney Tunes Cartoons, Wonder Woman, the Studio Ghibli collection, and  a bunch of more to come. HBO Max is a brand new streaming experience, including an online video library that brings the hottest titles from Warner Bros., HBO, DC and Cartoon Network. From now on together for the first time … one place … all in one! Prior to the press conference, the invitees to the ETELE cinema were welcomed with delicious snacks with titles related to the latest HBO series The Last of Us which was screened afterwoods … it was a nice gesture from the organizers, since it would have had been difficult with empty tummy for people to experience when they would have become hungry. Then the first part of the The Last of Us latest series were there to watch by the media representatives. 

Riport and snaps by Aggie Reiter

Lucian Freud: A Self Portrait – English Art Documentary 2020.

publicpreview Lucian Freud Art documentary

Length of the film: 80 minutes

In January 2023, Pannonia Entertainment Ltd. will continue EOS, Exhibition on Screen, a British fine art series, and in addition to publishing new episodes, it will return again and again to portraits of previous, highly successful or even curiosities.

The Royal Academy of Arts in London, in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, collected and presented Lucian Freud’s self-portraits for the first time between October 27, 2019 and January 26, 2020.

The exhibition featured more than 50 paintings, prints and drawings by the master of contemporary British art who died in 2011, the grandson of Sigmund Freud. Today’s world-famous painter is among those of the XX. he was one of the artists of the 20th century who, for decades, consistently directed their attention to themselves again and again, and continuously recorded the changes in their self-image.

When Lucian Freud was asked if he was a good model for himself, he replied: “No, I do not accept what I am confronted with when I look at myself; and this is where the problem begins.” It is precisely this “problem” that makes Freud’s self-portraits so fascinating. With each image, he began to express himself anew.

The exhibition brings together works from seven decades, the earliest picture was taken in 1939, and the last one 64 years later. The selection offers a fascinating insight into both the creator’s psyche and his artistic development. The pictures not only report on the aging process, but also reflect changes in self-representation and self-evaluation.

In his youth, we see the painter as the Greek hero Acteon, and finally as a drooping old man who stands naked in front of us in boots without laces. We can follow his creative methods from his early graphic works dominated by lines to the pastose paintings built from thick brush strokes, in which he found his own style.

For Lucian Freud, with the act of looking and observing, the gaze embraces the universe. The film from the exhibition is a unique opportunity to get to know the art and thinking of a great contemporary master.

In English, with Hungarian subtitles – Age limit is over 12 years.

Recommendation by Aggie Reiter

Do You Wanna Dance With Somebody!?! … Playing @ Budapest’s Cinemas.

whitney ... dance with somebody

From the writer of Bohemian Rhapsody – Naomi Achie is Whitney Houston.

Director: Kasi Lemmons –  Running time: 144 mins.

Manufacturer: USA – 2022.

Does it ring the bell?  … I wanna dance with somebody … Do you wanna feel the heat with somebody? Well, hear is the good news: Whitney Houston biopic “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” is on screen @ Budapest’s movies from the end of  December, 2022.

What to expect from the upcoming biopic!?! … This features an honorable insight to Houston’s story, tracking her journey from obscurity to musical super stardom. Her legacy is being celebrated on screen with a lavish and poignant new biopic Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

Judging by the statistics, it seems pretty obvious that Whitney Houston is the greatest singer of all time. The Guinness World Record holder for most-awarded female artist of all time, she racked up more than 400 career awards, sold more physical singles than any other female solo artist ever, broke Elvis and The Beatles’ records for consecutive number-one singles with a whopping seven, and to top it all off, she was the first artist to perform in post-apartheid South Africa.

Naomi Achie stars as the greatest black artist of all time in this Whitney Houston biopic and really sinks into the role of Whitney to the core. No surprise at all …  Houston’s voice, with Ackie confirming that she lip-synched to the late diva’s songs, with Houston’s actual vocals added in post.

Houston’s voice, with Ackie confirming that she lip-synched to the late diva’s songs, with Houston’s actual vocals added in post. she added that  “97 percent of it is Whitney singing, and it shouldn’t be any other way.”

I Wanna Dance with Somebody features moments that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

Starring: Naomi Ackie, Ashton Sanders, Stanley Tucci, Nafessa Williams, Lance A. Williams, Tamara Tunie, Clarke Peters, Daniel Washington, JaQuan Malik Jones, Kris Sidberry, Tanner Beard, Bailee Lopes, Jennifer Ellis, Bria Danielle Singleton, Adrian M .Mompoint, Coffey, Stew Replogle, Chanel Rose Connor, Sean Amos, Jon F. Merz.

Age limit above 12 years old.

Recommendation by Aggie Reiter

Herald News – The Wizarding World – Harry Potter films Coming Soon @ Budapest’s Cinemas.


There is not much to wait for the release of the long-awaited video game Hogwarts Legacy, but in addition to its release, the beginning of 2023 will also be the return of the entire Harry Potter film series for a limited time in the theaters of Pannónia Movie Ltd.

This time, Pannónia Entertainment is holding a two-month Harry Potter marathon from mid-January at Cinema MOM, Pólus Center Cinema and GoBuda Cinema (former Eurocenter).

The digitally restored 4K versions of the films that were completed not so long ago will be shown, this time in Cinema MOM again with subtitles, while in the other two units of the network, synchronously

And in February, it will have been almost 20 years since its filming, so by now a generation has really grown up since the early works were published, but it is almost time to watch a 12-hour program without parental supervision.

Age limit, above 12 years old.

Below dates and screening times can be viewed at each cinema’s site:

GOBUDA Cinema  – Harry Potter series – Digitally restored 4K
Pulos Center  – Harry Potter series  – Digitally restored 4K
Cinema MOM – Harry Potter series  – Digitally restored 4K

Recommendation by Aggie Reiter

The 13th Hungarian Theater Awards

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The Hungarian Theater Awards, which recognize those working in the background and service professions in the theater, were presented. Major Attila, production manager of the Karinthy Theater, received recognition; Nándor Eötvös is the tent master of the National Circus Arts Center; Zsolt Boldizsár, stage manager of the Móricz Zsigmond Theater in Nyíregyháza; Orsolya Kenyeri, head of the costume store of the Thália Theater; István Szelba is the technical manager and manager of the Gödöllő House of Arts. Bránimír Gyorgyev, artistic secretary of the Hungarian Serbian Theater, received a special national award. In the evening, the Hungarian Theater Lifetime Achievement Awards, recognizing exceptional acting careers, were presented, which were accepted by Jolán Török, dance teacher, dance artist, art consultant and Imre Katona, director.

The founder and originator of the Hungarian Theater Award, Péter Fekete, director of the National Circus Arts Center, highlighted: “It’s good to  stop for a minute …  look back and thank our successes to those behind us, without whose daily work theater performances would not be possible”.

Every year, the Hungarian Theater Award is given to those who work invisibly, behind the limelight, in the machinery that operates successful stage productions. In 2022, it was held for the 13th time and 9 awardees received recognition.

Nominations for the Hungarian Theater Award, founded in 2010, require the joint proposal of two state award-winning actors and the director of the nominating theater.

At the Awards Gala, the artists of the Nyíregyházi Móricz Zsigmond Theater, the Karinthy Theater, the Hungarian Serbian Theater, the Gödöllő House of Arts, the Thália Theater, the artists, jugglers and orchestra of the Capital City Grand Circus and the dancers of the Hungarian National Dance Ensemble performed.

Riport and snaps Aggie Reiter

Mihály Figula “Wine Producer of the Year in Hungary 2022”

Mihály Figula Wine Producer of the Year in Hungary 2022

In the beginning of December, at the FELIX Kitchen & Bar, the winner of the “Wine Producer of the Year in Hungary 2022” title, the most prestigious domestic award that can be won by Hungarian winemakers, was announced by the Hungarian Wine Academy. The award does not mean recognition of the excellent quality of a wine, but can be awarded for the outstanding performance of the winning wine producer over several years, for the constant, excellent quality of his wines, for their domestic and foreign successes, and for his efforts for the wine industry.

Hungary is a lucky country, in having a lot of great winemakers who supply both domestic and foreign wine lovers with world-class wines. The award could go to many places, but perhaps there is agreement that this year’s winner deserved the award despite his young age.

The great-grandfather, István Tolnay, was one of the most prestigious wine owners of the 19th century. Fueled by his love for grapes and wine, the Figula Winery @ Balatonfüred- Csopak  has become one of the best-known Hungarian wineries with hard work and, of course, sacrifices and great diligence. The winery was founded and built by his father, Mihály Figula, who was also chosen as the Wine Producer of the Year in 2000, the same year that his son, Mihály, obtained his diploma in viticulture and oenology. After his father died suddenly, he became head of the family even though he was in his twenties.  He had to take over the management of the estate from one day to the next. With a huge responsibility on his shoulders and a lot of work and with the family members managed to maintain and develop the thriving winery.

The Figula vineyards are located within a six-kilometer radius of the winery, on a total of 30 hectares, where terroir farming in the classical sense is carried out. Mihály tried to cultivate everything at the highest level, he considers it is important to treat the crops of the vineyards separately, of course with strict yield restrictions. The most important aspect in the production of wines is the highlighting of the characteristics of the place of production, for which, in addition to respecting traditions, the most modern technical and technological possibilities are exploited. In order to achieve the highest quality, the family carries out and supervises all processes, from the care of the grapes to the bottling of the wines.

Mihály Figula asks himself the question every day … “What would my father say about this? Would he be satisfied with the wines?” Most probably many winemaker father cannot be happier and prouder than when his son receives the highest recognition in the profession. Anyone who knows Mihály personally knows that when it comes to wines, he is very serious, and he is a young man blessed with an extraordinary sense of humor. If we asked him what career he was preparing for, he would only say: “As a child I wanted to be a bear, I ended up becoming a winemaker.”. Was asked his favor vintage and the answer was the 1993, of course, because that’s when it all started. This year’s winner is not an average person he believes he works in the best wine region in the world. He became a winemaker when his father said to him his children and wine making is his main hobby. Mihály promise to those who visit his winery that they will become nothing less and nothing more than that everyone forgets the gray weekdays.

Among those competing for the award, the five winemakers who received the most votes during the nomination below were:

Mihály Figula (Balatonfüred-Csopak wine region), Tamás Günzer (Villány wine region), József Lamport (Egri wine region), Zsolt Liptai (Pannonhalmi wine region), Csaba Vestergombi (Szekszárd wine region).

Update by Aggie Reiter

Renovated Blaha Lujza Square became a Little Island in the Middle of Budapest.

Reconstructed Blaha Lujza Square - December 2022

On Friday, December,  9., the inauguration event took place whereas mayor of the capital city Gergely Karácsony said that, despite the rain, it was a beautiful day because the renovation of the square had been long overdue.

The renovation of the square took almost one-and-half years. At last for many locals in the capital the Square has become not for the eyes only but  also have a break during their time-off.  Has been created a small grove with  8 healthy old and 80 newly planted trees and with ornamental plants has been completed. The neighborhood will be greener and microclimate. It has been grafted into a new floor covering. An artificial frame soil was created, which is designed to help the root system of the trees surrounded by the wood stack grid. Trees planted in artificial framework soil, i.e. with the Stockholm Tree Planting System, grow faster, and due to their better living conditions, they become bigger, more beautiful and healthier than their counterparts planted in compacted subsoil. The selected shrub species reinforce the grove-like nature of the renewed space with their diverse leaf shape and color. A complete soil replacement was carried out, which was necessary because there is a dense layer of silt under the surface of Blaha Lujza Square, which was created during the demolition of the former National Theater and consists of World War II debris. Due to the increasing traffic during peak hours, the more resistant trees were planted alongside on the Nagykörút (Grand Blvd.) and Rákóczi (Rd.). The 1000 square meters of green space and water features will enhance the livability of the area and improve its microclimate. Also small-sized sculptures were placed, which refer to the National Theater that once stood there and depict theater scenes. Not only will be a remind by many elder theater lovers who once entered the living theater, cause the same color public seats as once in the theater of burgundy-color and tables will surely ring the bell of the former seats at the National Theater. (The old national theater was built between 1872 and 1875. It was demolished in 1964. To this day, many reasons have come to light, but no one knows the real reason.) On the spot the outline of the demolished building can be seen in the cladding.

In the days of hustle and bustle, it will be worthwhile to sit down and watch the World Go By!

Riport by Aggie Reiter