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Fish Cooking Festival in Baja

14. 8. 2014




Food and Beverages, Meat-based dishes - other, Rest Days and Celebrations

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Baja, “the capital of fishermenʻs soup” organises a fish cooking festival every year on the second Saturday of July. About 2000 non-professional teams (locals and visitors) cook the famous fish soup at the same time, following the same traditional recipe. They bring their own ingredients and cauldron, and the city provides firewood, and a table with benches for the meal. The festival was first organised to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the town’s rise to a city, and attracts a huge number of tourists. Website:ászlé

Locality Baja, Bács-Kiskun County
Time July (documented on 13th July 2013)
History (cyclicality) Organised annually since 1996, on the second Saturday of July
Organizer Local government
Realisation team Locals and visitors. The number of active participants is limited. Around 2000 teams cook at the same time, yet far more would like to participate.
Target group Locals and visitors (including a large number of tourists). Last year the festival has attracted 100.000 visitors during three days. (The population of Baja is 37.000.)
Traditional culture elements Halászlé (“fishermen’s soup”) is a traditional dish in several parts of Hungary, and the most popular dish made of fish. It became well-known throughout the country since 1800s and was typically made by men. There are several regional types of this soup, following different recipes. Participants of the fish cooking festival in Baja follow the traditional local recipe, use the same ingredients, and cook in a cauldron.
Ethnographic criterion This is an event celebrating the most important element of the cultural image of Baja.
Environmental criterion The event does not harm the environment.
Cultural-historical criterion
The festival was first organised to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the town’s changing status to a city. The festival started with a couple of cauldrons on the main square. Now the cooking has spread into several streets beyond the main square, as more and more people wished to participate.
Aesthetic criterion N/A
Ethical criterion There is no ethical problem.
Psychological criterion The fish soup known as “Bajai halászlé” is an important element of local identity. Large number of participants cooking fish soup at the same time, following the same recipe is a way of strengthening local identity.

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