Festivals and Christmas in Budapest: An Interview With Teodóra Bán
The Budapest Business Journal talks to Teodóra Bán, managing director of the Budapest Festival and Tourism Center and Szabadtér Nonprofit Kft., who is entrusted with the management of the Budapest festivals and the Christmas Fair.
BBJ: Could you describe your role?
Teodóra Bán: My work is basically about organizing and running big year-round festivals in Budapest, anything useful to promote Hungarian culture and the country’s image. The beauty and wonderful architectural heritage of Budapest is very important to us and we produce, in fact, great content for the city: world-class cultural programs and tourist attractions.
BBJ: Would you say you have been successful in this endeavor?
TB: My vision was to “win” this global artistic competition by creating a cultural playground of great international importance, which foreigners would like to come to. And now the companies I manage can provide outstanding services to cultural and tourism events.
BBJ: The positive image of the capital must be an important element of all this.
TB: Yes, along with tourism events, attraction development, our culture, and our spiritual values, delivering positive messages is extremely important. Regarding theaters, sporting events and museums and events, the tourism industry should strive to ensure maximum service quality.
BBJ: Where will programs and attractions be staged for the Christmas markets?
TB: Both Budapest Festival and Tourism Center and Szabadtér Nonprofit Kft. are organizing Advent and Christmas fairs. The main places for those events are Vörösmarty, Fővám, and Deák squares and City Park. This is a series of festive cultural events that are of major international interest and are also popular with the townspeople. Among these events, the one on Vörösmarty Square has a prominent position. The square has been completely refurbished since the capital’s management succeeded in completing a complete infrastructure renovation of it last year.
BBJ: What can we expect from the Christmas fair there this year?
TB: The evening hours feature decorative lighting that emphasizes the special structures and style of the square. I have also designed a new pavilion around the Vörösmarty statue, which will make this look even better. We planned the traditional Christmas market around this pavilion. It also means new tools and new types of lighting solutions, while keeping the old ones as well, of course. The slogan of this Christmas fair is actually “Tradition and Innovation”. The term “tradition” encompasses our spiritual and architectural values, as well as crafts and the making of holiday gifts, objects and gastronomy. The term “innovation” concerns the new visual appearance of Vörösmarty Square, which includes the new streetlamps and the new pavilion. Besides all that, more than 240 cultural programs will be held at these four locations over 45 days.