The Busójárás (Hungarian, meaning "Busó-walking"; in Croatian: Pohod bušara) is an annual celebration of the Šokci (Croats) living in the town of Mohács, Hungary, held at the end of the Carnival season ("Farsang"), ending the day before Ash Wednesday. The celebration features Busós (people wearing traditional masks) and includes folk music, masquerading, parades and dancing. Busójárás lasts six days, usually during February. It starts on a Thursday, followed by the Kisfarsang (Little Farsang) carnival on Friday, with the biggest celebration, Farsang vasárnap (Farsang Sunday) on the seventh Sunday before Easter Sunday; the celebration then ends with Farsangtemetés (Burial of Farsang) on the following Tuesday (Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras).
Locals explain the Carnival with two similar but different legends.
According to the more popular legend, during the Turkish occupation of the territory the people of Mohács fled the town, and lived in the nearby swamps and woods to avoid Ottoman (Turkish) troops. One night, while they were sitting and talking around the fire, an old Šokci man appeared suddenly from nowhere, and said to them, "Don't be afraid: your lives will soon turn to good, and you'll return to your homes. Against that time, prepare for the battle, carve various weapons and scary masks for yourselves, and wait for a stormy night when a masked knight will come to you." He disappeared as suddenly as he had come. The refugees followed his orders, and some days later, on a stormy night, the knight arrived. He ordered them to put on their masks and go back to Mohács, making as much noise as possible. They followed his lead. The Turks were so frightened by the noise, the masks, and the storm in the night, that they thought demons were attacking them; and they ran away from the town before sunrise.
In the older, less popular story, the busós are scaring away not the Turks but Winter itself.
In any case, the locals have celebrated the Busójárás in early February every year ever since, hosting "guest Busó teams" from neighbouring countries (Croatia and Serbia, local Šokci Croats) and also from Poland.
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