This year it is for the 15th time that the Patara Festival in Tata is going to be held in the Castle and on the shores of the Öreg-tó (Old Lake). It is for the second time that the Representation Office of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) in Budapest will be taking part in the Festival to be organized between May 26–28. The Office will be holding the third Competition for high school students with the title Honeycomb and Pomegranate on the first day of the festival, in the framework of the Students’ Patara.
During the press conference of the Festival it was said that this year the organizers are offering the public four large war games with the participation of more than 450 traditionalist soldiers. During the three days of the Festival the traditionalists from Hungary and abroad will be marching in contemporary clothing with military technology and weapons that can be tested by both children and adults, and will also rehearse authentic battle scenes.
József Michl, the mayor of Tata thanked the organizers and the participants for their work. “These three days will be offering us carefree war games during which we have to remember a really difficult historical battle.” The mayor added: the Christian armies have succeeded in defeating the Ottomans fourteen times already. He would like to see a similar victory this year as well. The condition of the town for handing over its land to the Festival is that the Ottoman flag should be removed from the Castle this year too. If that happens, you can have your Patara next year as well, promised Mayor Michl, smiling. At his instructions, the captain of the Hajdus pledged that they will take over the Castle from the Ottomans by all means, if necessary with even a little finesse.
In his remarks, Géza Gonda, the project director of the Representation Office of the OTS, underlined that the Magyars and the Ottomans were fighting each other for 300 years, and then went on to live in friendship, helping each other for another 300 years. Since 1999, when Hungary joined NATO, we have been military allies as well. The project director recalled that since 2018 Hungary has – as an observer – participated in the work of the OTS. It was last year that the Representation Office of the OTS was present at the Patara for the first time
The Students’ Patara will be held on the first day of the Festival. In the organization of the Representation Office, this year eight high schools are entering the competition Honeycomb and Pomegranate. The questions of the quiz have been selected in a way that they should reflect the history and culture of the Turkic peoples, as well as the Turkic world today. The teams entering the competition received the background materials necessary for their preparations weeks ago. Two videos can be found on the homepage of the Representation Office in Budapest. The teams will be competing for several hours at stations located on the premises of the Castle of Tata. At each station, they will have to fill in a test. They will also have to find their way in the national symbols, the world heritage sites, the traditional sports of the Turkic peoples, as well as the Turkish loan words of the Hungarian language.
During the press conference held in a pleasant atmosphere, the organizers also offered some information on the programs of the Festival. This year the Hungarian Village will be located on the square in front of the Castle. This is where the visitors will be able to get acquainted with contemporary crafts and knacks. The families can also stroke animals, sit in workshops in crafts, as well as test their skills in games with wood.
On Sunday when the Children’s Days is held, great programs, including nursery and derring-do tests will be offered to the children. There will also be a competition in archery and some others tests. The Hungarian army will appear this year as well and display about fifty pieces of modern equipment, among them Turkish made Gidrans outside the walls of the Castle.