Although most shops and streets have Christmas lighting nowadays, life is still too fast and the best thing we can do to embrace festivity spirit is to spend time with our beloved ones. The Müpa Winter Open Air (tickets here) is expecting families from the 30th of November for children’s concerts, puppet shows, contemporary circus and an inevitable ice rink.
A family concert, a hot chocolate, and a few rounds of skating surely help us all to get in Christmas mood. Müpa Winter Open Air is a place for advent programmes again that you cannot miss. Even without snow, Mother Hulda will shake her pillows on the 30th of November above the stage in the tent.
The Mesebolt (Tale Shop) Puppet Theatre from Szombathely comes with a classic folding screen play with magical glove puppets, but don’t be surprised if the apple tree or the oven speaks, the pot gets angry, and the snowflakes start to sing. A girl, sent to the well by her stepmother, learns in Mother Hulda’s hut that happiness doesn’t come easy, we have to work hard for it. But if you trust yourself and don’t give up, you will get your reward. Magic doesn’t work with the heartless, envious, lazy stepsister, though, and she also learns her lesson from Mother Hulda.
On the 1st of December, not only the 350 square meter Müpa ice rink will be opened, but families can also visit two concerts. János Kardos-Horváth, known from bands Kaukázus and Kafkaz, is not only a musician but a dad who is dedicated to eco-conscious thinking.
His band Hahó, formed in 2010, is “eco positive”: with images, music and dance, they draw our attention to the fact that we only have one planet and should care much more about her. In their advent eco party, they sing about what (not) to buy in shops, that we should also carry a tote bag while shopping, or why we should support packing-free shops. Children always sing with them and families, albeit only in song, can hug trees, kiss bugs and pick up garbage.
Then the soul-funk band Blue Rabbit Family opens the dance floor for parents and children. Their matinee concerts are in child-friendly time and so the whole family can party together. Children learn to like live concerts, so parents don’t have to give more explanations on why they listen to this or that music. Towards the end, even the shy soul of the Hammond organ, Leslie, will be lured out.
“Shall we come in with our nativity?”
– that’s what Hungarian nativity players asked at the end of their greeting poem. Some decades ago, their presence was natural in the streets, but nowadays almost nobody practices this folk tradition. On the 7th of December, band Kaláka – that celebrated its 50th anniversary this year – comes with an advent show which is based on a traditional nativity play. It contains Hungarian and international Christmas folk songs, old church music, and Christmas poems set to music by Kaláka.
Next day, the Harlekin Puppet Theatre comes with a masquerade play. They showcase the story of Maria and Joseph seeking refuge in Bethlehem and the three wise men coming to greet the newborn baby. This includes many different forms of art: beautiful, poetic text created from written sources of original nativity plays and one paraphrase written by Szilárd Borbély, but also music, movements, visual effects, and archaic masks. It tells the story about earthly and heavenly worlds meeting, and how God cares about us while we don’t care about each other. Love wins, angels and humans praise the Saviour’s arrival and the holy feast of Christmas.
Throughout the rest of the month, Recirquel’s contemporary circus winter tale, Kristály (Crystal), will be performed 28 times. Audience can experience the feeling of an artist flying above their heads, only a few inches away. Winter tales, feast melodies, old folk traditions and a true Christmas spirit is awaiting families from the 30th of November in the Müpa.
Article: Anikó Magócsi
Translation: Zsófia Hacsek