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Paprika Days Festival and Cooking Contest Kalocsa

September 22, 2007

The crowning event of the ongoing paprika harvest festivities (September 8-22, 2007), the Kalocsa Paprika Days Festival and Cooking Contest is a sizzling celebration of the fiery pods, the 'red gold' of Kalocsa. At this gastronomic event held annually since 1998, contestants prepare a variety of dishes with paprika, the distinctive spice of the Hungarian cuisine. The meals cooked up at the event can range from simple stews and goulashes to fish soup and fancy restaurant plates. Well-known master chefs, gastronomic experts and reviewers taste and judge the dishes on their color, presentation, aroma, and harmony of tastes, flavor, and consistency.

Paprika Days Kalocsa. Photo: Ashkeling
Photo: Ashkeling

While contestants and judges focus on the cauldrons and plates, the festive crowd is invited to enjoy an eclectic range of music and dance performances, folklore programs, and fair entertainment.

Program of events:

9.00 AM: Invitation – performance of the Ferenc Liszt AMI brass band

9.30 AM, on the small stage: Opening of the 9th Paprika Dishes Cooking Contest

from 10.00 AM
  • in the Csajda Garden: Local breed Dog Show and Mutt Beauty Pageant
  • on the small stage: performance of the Youth Brass Band from Hajos

10.00 AM: Paprika Run

11.00 AM:
  • Harvest Parade
  • on the big stage: performance of the Madzag (String) Puppet Group (Madzag Babegyuttes)

from 12.00 noon, on the small stage: "Vadocok" – modern dance performance

1.00 PM, on the big stage: folklore program – performance of the Ferenc Liszt AMI brass band and the Hetszinvirag AMI folk dance group

2.00 PM, on the small stage: performance of the Danubia Youth Brass Band from Batya and the Szeged Majorette Group

3.00 PM, on the big stage: Piros Rozsa (Red Rose) Dance Group, Gorom Folk Dance and Ballroom Dance Ensemble, and Seljacka Sloga Dance Group from Toranovac, Croatia

4.00 PM, on the big stage: performance of the Akrobat Dance School and the Fashion Dance group

5.00, on the small stage: Announcing the winners of the 9th Paprika Dishes Cooking Contest

7.00 PM, on the big stage: Celtic Invasion – Irish step dance performance accompanied by the MEZ band (The Hungarian Way of Celtic Music)

9.00 PM: Fireworks

9.30 PM – 1.00 AM: Harvest Ball

Location: the parking lot in front of Csajda Csarda
6300 Kalocsa, Csajda u. 2.

More info

Mrs. Asperjan Istvan (Asperjan Istvanne)
Phone: +36-78-462-200

Hungarian Source: Kalocsa City Home Page

The Paprika Days with foreigner’s eyes

We found about 55 cook stalls, representing various companies and organizations. Almost every one had a large pot hanging from a hook, simmering over a fire of some sort, ranging from gas jets to simple wood campfires. Cooks were dumping massive quantities of onions, garlic, paprika (both powdered and fresh) into the pots, along with various meats. /…/ Most of the stalls had decorated their places with local details, including (of course) strands of chiles, paprika powder, clothing, and so on. – Ashkeling 2003 Europe Trip – Hungary for Paprika

In Kalocsa, the annual harvest is celebrated with a paprika festival in September. Known as the Kalocsa Paprika Days, it features an exhibition of food products and agricultural machinery, a professional conference on the topic of paprika, various sports events, a "Paprika Cup" international chess tournament, and a fish soup cooking contest. But the highlight of all this is the Paprika Harvest Parade, complete with local bands and colorful folk-dancing groups, followed that same night by a Paprika Harvest Ball. – Dave


MEZ band home page

About the Celtic Invasion – Click on TOVABB. Text in Hungarian, but the pictures speak for themselves