What’s the National Gallop?
The National Gallop is the grandest of festivals on the grandest of scales. Organized for the 12th time since its inception in 2008, we can still call the National Gallop a rather new Hungarian tradition – or should we say, a monumental reinvention of history and tradition.
Just imagine. Spacious and awe-inspiring Heroes’ Square, transformed into a racetrack with 6,200 square meters’ worth of special equine-friendly sand. Grandstands in front of the two museums that flank the square, the biggest screens you’ve ever seen broadcasting the action, flags flying – the excitement will be palpable... And they’re off! Young jockeys, modern-day hussars on horseback, tear around the track. Hooves are pounding, dirt is flying, the crowd is cheering. Again and again, since as many as 250 horses and riders will compete for the 11.6-million-forint cash prize, a glittering sword, and national glory. Prepare for a particularly exciting event this year, as there will also be mock horseback battles, amazing archers shooting arrows on gallop- ing horses and even race carriage-driving! The carriages that’ll be competing have been created especially for this racetrack. They may have a vintage look but they feature the latest technology inside, so get ready for a rough ride! Imagine Ben Hur in Formula One. The chariot race is a truly breath-taking experience, which required the competitors to undergo an exhausting preparation and training. You can see the finest representatives of this special sport in the tracks on Saturday and Sunday.
And that’s not all.
On October 19th and 20th Andrássy Avenue, the city’s grandest boulevard, will become the Gallop Promenade, presenting over 1,000 years of Hungarian history. Tents representing towns and cities across the nation will show off local traditions – imagine blacksmiths pounding horseshoes, costumed women embroidering centuries-old flower motifs, weavers crafting baskets of straw or rugs of wool.
While being introduced to Hungarian horse traditions, you’ll also get to taste the delights of the Országkonyha (Kitchen of Hungary), where the main theme this year is meat, meat, meat! Think more food than you’ve ever seen in one place at one time – just the idea of the scent of garlic and paprika wafting over the square makes us, well, hung(a)ry. What a feast!
Wash down Hungarian dishes, prepared with six types of traditionally seasoned meat, with the very best of the country’s wine and palinka selection!
This is an event you don’t want to miss. Three days of horseback action, fantastic food and drinks, a cavalcade of crafts and culture, bringing Hungary’s vibrant history to life before your very eyes...
19-20 October 2019.
Location: Andrássy Avenue, 56-osok tere, Heroes' square