Anna Ball

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The first Anna Ball was held in Balatonfüred on 26 July, 1825 by János Fülöp Szentgyörgyi Horváth in honour of his daughter Anna Krisztina.

The Copf-style building in the centre of the bathing resort was built in 1798 by the Szentgyörgyi Horváth Family. It was not only the centre of social life at the time, but also a place of intellectual meetings, where the greats of the developing Reform Era gathered from time to time. Lajos Kossuth, István Széchenyi and Miklós Wesselényi often visited Balatonfüred.

According to the legend, Anna Krisztina met her future husband Ernő Kiss at the first ball, who has later become one of the 13 marthyrs of Arad as Lieutenant General of the Hungarian War of Independence.

Following the first ball, the Anna Ball, which is held every year on the Saturday closest to Anna (name)Day, has always been one of the most prestigious balls in the country, where the most famous Hungarian artists and politicians could meet at summers. Mór Jókai, Lujza Blaha and Mihály Vörösmarty used to be frequent and welcomed guests also.

After the First World War the aspect of bathing culture changed, so the Anna Balls have also lost from their original significance. The tradition quietly lived on between the two world wars. After the Second World War, the Anna Ball was officially held again on 31 July, 1954 in the Balaton Restaurant. From 1957 the theatre hall of the once renovated building of the so-called Kursalon provided home for the ball. Later the building functioned as a Sanatorium and today it’s Hotel Anna Grand. According to the revived tradition of the time, The Belle of the Ball is still rewarded with the Golden Apple of Eris, and the two maidens receive a Herend vase as a gift.

Jenő Huszka, the famous composer, was also inspired by the enchantment of Anna Balls. The last composition of his life was the Anna Ball Waltz, which was played for the first time as an opening dance in 1962, alongside with the traditional Hungarian dance, the ‘palotás’.

In 1975, after the 150th Anna Ball, Folk Art gained ground in the balls. Several Hungarian regions, such as Kalocsa (1976), Hódmezővásárhely (1977), Karcag (1980), introduced themselves and became the guests of Balatonfüred.

The Belle of the Ball receives a Victorian pattern porcelain vase, the First Maiden obtains a Rotschild vase, while the Second Maiden is given an Aponyi decorated vase as an offering of the Herend Porcelain Manufactory.