sights & culture


Holiday Cheer by Lake Balaton


  • Szandtner Veronika

12/8/2014 1:00 AM

We also opened the first few windows of the Advent calendar and are counting down the days to Christmas. The situation by Lake Balaton is pretty similar, so we looked into the Advent fair and Christmas preparations of 6 settlements there. To keep you busy and entertained until Boxing Day, Hévíz offers a János Bródy concert, Zalakaros shows off a swimsuit-clad Santa, and Füred organizes an artisan fair and handicraft workshops.


The Russian tourists in Hévíz and locals as well will be kept pretty busy, since the Advent weekends bring numerous parallel programs to various Hévíz venues. One of the central points of interest is the Museum Collection, which will probably be flooded with appraisers and antique dealers thanks to the fine art, applied art and antiques fair.

You might have met most of the vendors at the Hévíz Farmers' Market, who have promised to bring the cream of their artisan products to this fair. If you're really dedicated, you can compile your entire Christmas package at the thematic handicraft workshops, where you can try your hand (and other bodyparts) at glass-blowing, enameling, making gingerbread cookies and Christmas ornaments while tuning into a festive mood..

12 December marks the opening of a temporary vinyl record exhibition, the Bakelit birodalom (Vinyl Empire). In the weekends, visit Festetics tér for a traditional Chirstmas fair with mulled wine, langalló and Advent candle lighting.

Photo: Sebestyén Blanka - We Love Balaton

Hévíz goes all in for the Santa celebrations on 6 December at the City Sports Hall. The same venue will entertain the adults on 12 December with a festive concert by János Bródy and band. And if the Advent spirit inspires you to extend a helping hand to those in need, you can do so in quite pleasant ways, like eating tat the charity cookie fair or by participating in the charity cooking show and tasting.


Have you ever spent your Advent at a spa? If not, now is your time: Zalakaros, famous for its thermal waters, offers you this unique opportunity. Here, Advent will be a bit louder and more colourful than the average, but you'll surely be relaxed by the time Christmas dinner arrives. If you are one for liberated and relaxed Christmas preparations, be sure to stop for a cup of mulled wine in front of the spa, then jump into the hot water.

Kids will be entertained with fairy tale exercises, while adults can participate in aquafitness and aquasalsa. We, for one, haven't seen a swimsuit-clad Santa yet, but its Zalakaros alter ego will arrive swimming and sliding down the water slide, and then keep children happy with various games of skill.


Yes, we too our intrigued by what makes an Advent fragrant, but we have a few ideas about the delicacies you can smell at the Veszprém Advent fair. Similarly to Hévíz, there will also be parallel events at various locations here. The weekend street fair in Kossuth Street will be countered by a folk art fair at the Laczkó Dezső Museum, the Finnish Santa, Joulupukki will arrive to the Veszprém Petőfi Theatre on 6 December, and the  representatives of the Salesianum will conduct the Advent Sunday candle lightings in Szentháromság Square.

Photo: Sebestyén Blanka - We Love Balaton

The Ghymes Christmas concert at Hangvilla on 23 December will be the perfect warm-up for Christmas Eve.


Based on the practices of recent years, the Advent preparations in Tapolca could well merit the most intimate Advent of Lake Balaton title. Consequently, we'd recommend it to those, who believe advent is about toning down instead of gift shopping. You'd look for a fair in vain here, but your programs might include a walk hand-in-hand along the shore of Lake Tapolcai. For the first three Advent weekends, the representatives of the Catholic, the Evangelical and the Calvinist Church and church school students organize charity events and Christmas programs.

Photo: Sebestyén Blanka - We Love Balaton

The nativity scene in the main square is made of wood, with statuettes by József ’Gazduram’ Tóth. For now, the crib is empty - the baby Jesus will only be placed here on the last weekend of everyone's Christmas, when the city's Christmas tree will also be set up.


The Advent preparations in Balatonfüred are also quite home-like. Only 8-10 vendors will appear with beautiful and/or delicious artisan goods in front of Kredenc, in Blaha Lujza Street. You'll find home-made syrups, handmade candles, lavender soaps, and tasteful Christmas tree ornaments here. And to keep your stomachs filled until Christmas dinner, you can also buy fresh home-made cookies, vegan versions included.

Judging it realistically, most of us would not be able to make as perfect ginger bread and ornaments as you will find here, but that must not keep you from trying: you can get help and tips at the Saturday thematic workshops. On 13 December, the focus will be on gingerbread, while on the last Saturday before Christmas you can learn the tricks of making cornhusk tree ornaments,


The vibes of the Siófok Advent fair are set by the light-clad water tower and the Christmas tree in front of it, which caught the fancy of our photographer to such an extent that at least a dozen pictures were shot of them.

Photo: Sebestyén Blanka - We Love Balaton

The main square around the water tower is brimming with booths. Hot chocolate in a plastic cup, mulled wine, bonbons, and artisan products abound: this Advent fair is pretty rich, and the crowds will only get denser as the night approaches.

Photo: Sebestyén Blanka - We Love Balaton

The fair is accompanied by children's programs; the Iszkiri Band returns to Siófok for several weekends with various shows. Adults might enjoy the concerts of André Vásáry, Tamás Hevesi and Barna Pélyi.

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