Busójárás: The Hungarian Festival That Scares Winter Away

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The town of Mohács in southern Hungary began the annual pagan tradition of Busójárás generations ago with the Croatian minority in the town. This six-day festival takes place at the end of February and is meant to scare away winter. The festival is named for the busós, who are people (traditionally men) dressed up in ornate and frightening costumes that include wooden masks and big wooly cloaks. For the carnival, more than 500 busós arrive in rowboats on the Danube to take place in the march and for other festivities during the celebration. The idea of the festival is to look so frightening that winter flees and spring is welcome to take over.