SzŸret

SzŸret

Late October
Since wine is the national drink of the Hungarian people, the Szüret, or Grape Gathering, is a time for great celebration. In fact, many peasant marriages take place after this yearly festival. As they have done since ancient times, the grape gatherers make an enormous "bouquet" out of grapes and two men carry it on a pole in procession to the vineyard owner's home, accompanied by musicians, clowns, and young girls dressed in white wearing flower wreaths on their heads. When they reach their destination, they hang the cluster of grapes from the ceiling and accept the vineyard owner's invitation to join in the feasting and dancing.
A traditional game known as "robber" is often played during the festival, either as the grapes are being gathered or during the dancing that takes place later. While several men guard the bouquet of grapes, the others try to steal the fruit off the vines. Anyone who gets caught is dragged before a mock judge and forced to pay a penalty—usually by performing a song, a solo dance, or a pantomime while his companions make fun of him.
CONTACTS:
Hungarian National Tourist Office
350 Fifth Ave., Ste. 7107
New York, NY 10118
212-695-1221; fax: 212-695-0809
www.gotohungary.com
SOURCES:
BkFest-1937, p. 173
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 530 (c)