Hajdú-Bihar County: symbol of the Protestant religion, and the home of shepherd dishes

It is the fourth biggest county of Hungary and its present territory is a result of the regional planning from 1950.

The Hajdú area represents most of the county and it was named after the cattlemen who were employed by the locals during  the XV-XVIth century. Later they played an important part in wars, since they were excellent gunmen, as demonstrated in the battles against the Turks. At present the population is of 541,000 and 207,000 live in the county seat, Debrecen.

The tourism is very important in the county, which is often mentioned as the Hortobágy-Hajdúszoboszló-Debrecen tourism triangle.

Hortobány attracts tourists with its traditional livestock breeding and The Nine Hole Bridge, Hajdúszoboszló'strong point are the thermal water baths, while Debrecen is the cradle of art, culture and literature, but also a symbol of Protestant religion. The Protestant Church is in the center of the city.

One of the most important tourist attractions is the Flower Carnival, a sort of local fiesta. It is held on August 20, when Saint Stephen's coronation as a king is celebrated. In the past years the preceding week is also dedicated to carnival-related events, mainly concerts. On the day of the carnival rows of cars decorated with colourful flowers move along the streets, providing a lovely sight for the visitors.

Another strong point of the county is its traditional gastronomy, which is based on the shepherd recipes: orjaleves ( a soup made with beef, vegetables and potatoes), Hortobágyi meat pie, Hortobágyi roast meat, but also the "slambuc", which is usually prepared in a cauldron in open-air. It is a local custom to drink a shot of peach or plum "palinka" before lunch, followed by a glass of local dry wine. The feast is not complete without  "döbbencs", a pie with sheep cheese and dill.


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