ALBANY -- This weekend, descendants of the first Hungarians to arrive in the area will carry out a centuries-old tradition.
The Hungarian Harvest Dance Celebration will be held from 6-10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5, at the American Legion Hall, located at 26200 La. Hwy. 43 in Springfield, Louisiana.
The event — which will celebrate the 123rd anniversary of the first Hungarian settlers arriving in the area — is being sponsored by the Árpádhon Hungarian Settlement Cultural Association in conjunction with the Hungarian Settlement Historical Society.
The festive gathering will feature Hungarian singing and folk songs, the traditional Harvest Dance and a wine auction, with proceeds going toward the continuance of the Hungarian culture of the community.
The dancers — who will all be dressed in traditional attire that includes white dresses and outfits trimmed in red, white, and green — will perform a series of dances that come from different parts of Hungary beneath a canopy of fruit and streamers of red, white, and green, the colors of the Hungarian flag.
People will dance to the musical talents of Ernest Breaux and his Poo-Yai Band.
Hungarian food such as cabbage rolls, cabbage noodles, cucumber salad, and kolbász (a type of Hungarian sausage) poboys will be available for sale at the Harvest Dance Celebration. Hungarian pastries such as kiflik and kalács will also be sold.
The Hungarian Harvest Dance dates back to at least 1921 in Albany but to the 15th century in Hungary, starting when a king told his nobles to hold a feast in honor of the peasants and to celebrate the upcoming harvest season.
Back in those days, the celebration was held in anticipation of the grape harvest. During those early harvest dances, women would hide trinkets inside fruit that would later be “stolen” by young men looking for courtship.
Advance tickets for adults are $12 or $15 at the door; advance tickets for children ages 6-12 are $7 or $10 at the door; and all children 5 years or younger get in free of charge. Doors open at 5 p.m.
For tickets or more information, contact Nichole McMorris at (985) 974-8045, Julia Ourso at (225) 567-3224, or Victoria Mocsary at (985) 507-8664. You can also visit www.magyars.org.
The Árpádhon Hungarian Settlement Cultural Association meets on the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. at the association building in the Hungarian Settlement, according to its website.