A colorful celebration of Hungary’s culture!

Hungarian folk dance on stage at the House of Hungary lawn program in Balboa Park.
Hungarian folk dance on stage at the House of Hungary lawn program in Balboa Park.

This afternoon I caught a bit of the House of Hungary’s lawn program at the International Cottages in Balboa Park.

While I didn’t sample any of the Hungarian food (having previously eaten a big lunch), I did feast my eyes and ears on Hungarian culture, including traditional music, singing, dance, costume, and even a short but fascinating talk about fashion, for which Hungary is historically famous.

This annual celebration takes place on or about August 20, a national holiday in Hungary that memorializes the first King of Hungary, King Stephen I. Stephen was canonized by the Catholic Church, and his feast day is celebrated on the same day.

The Karpatok Hungarian Dance Ensemble entertains the audience with a traditional bottle dance.
The Kárpátok Hungarian Dance Ensemble entertains the audience with a traditional bottle dance.
The proud flag of Hungary could be spotted here and there in the crowd.
The proud flag of Hungary could be spotted here and there in the crowd.
A fashion designer and beauty queens await their turn on stage as a young man sings a Hungarian folk song.
A fashion designer and beauty queens await their turn on stage as a young man sings a Hungarian folk song.
Hungarian food at the program included sausage sandwiches, crepes (palacsinta), fried dough (lángos) and authentic Hungarian pastries.
Hungarian food at the program included sausage sandwiches, crepes (palacsinta), fried dough (lángos) and authentic Hungarian pastries.
People enjoyed eating sweet Kürtőskalács, which is also known as chimney cake.
People enjoyed eating sweet Kürtőskalács, which is also referred to as chimney cake.
San Diego Continuing Education fashion instructor Tammie Pontsler talks about an award-winning dress she made for the Salk design challenge.
San Diego Continuing Education fashion instructor Tammie Pontsler talks about an award-winning dress she made for the Salk design challenge.
Violinist from the Lux Ensemble entertains everybody with happy Hungarian music.
Violinist from the Lux Ensemble entertains everybody with happy Hungarian music.
The culture of Hungary is celebrated in Balboa Park at the International Cottages!
The culture of Hungary is celebrated in Balboa Park at the International Cottages!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

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San Diego Iris Society blooms in Balboa Park!

I’m no expert when it comes to flowers, but I definitely enjoy drinking in their beauty.

I spent several minutes yesterday inside the Casa del Prado, walking slowly past tables full of exquisite irises. The San Diego Iris Society is having their Annual Spring Show and Iris Sale this weekend in Balboa Park. The event continues today.

The people I met in the society were all very nice. If you grow irises in San Diego, it would be fun to become a member!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

International Children’s Day in Balboa Park.

Youth in Mexican costume file across the stage. Children from many nations participated in today's event at the International Cottages.
Youth in Mexican costume file across the stage. Children from many nations participated in today’s event at the International Cottages.

International Children’s Day was celebrated this afternoon at the International Cottages in Balboa Park. The event was hosted by the House of Turkey, the nation that inspired this special day. Kids representing many nations took part.

Prior to a series of youthful performances, I learned during the introductory speech that every year on April 23 Turkey celebrates Children’s Day, a holiday created by modern Turkey’s founder Atatürk. He recognized that children would inherit that newly independent nation’s future. As a reminder, during Children’s Day the Turkish President, Prime Minister, cabinet ministers and provincial governors all turn over their positions to children for that one day.

As this day has become more international, UNICEF now recognizes International Children’s Day.

Guys fill balloons prior to the start of a cultural event hosted in Balboa Park by the House of Turkey.
Guys fill balloons prior to the start of a cultural event hosted in Balboa Park by the House of Turkey.
Getting Turkish food ready, including tasty tantuni.
Getting Turkish food ready, including tasty tantuni.
Lots of smiles as hungry people start to line up.
Lots of smiles as hungry people start to line up.
Kids cross the lawn, almost ready to perform on stage.
Kids cross the lawn, almost ready to perform on stage.
Young performers in Turkish costume on stage during the House of Turkey's lawn program, celebrating International Children's Day.
Young performers in Turkish costume on stage during the House of Turkey’s lawn program, celebrating International Children’s Day.
A clown in the audience provided innocent laughs!
A clown in the audience provided innocent laughs!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Two colorful Frida portraits at Spanish Village!

Artist Frida Kahlo, by San Diego painter RD Riccoboni, outside Studio 18 in Balboa Park's Spanish Village.
Artist Frida Kahlo, by San Diego painter RD Riccoboni, on the patio outside Studio 18 in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village.

Look what I spied on Christmas Eve while I moseyed around Balboa Park waiting to take a special tour at the nearby San Diego Museum of Art!

As I wandered through Spanish Village Art Center, I was greeted by two amazing, colorful Frida Kahlo portraits painted by San Diego’s own RD Riccoboni. Both works of art stood just outside the entrance to Studio 18, which RD Riccoboni shares with other talented Spanish Village artists.

After enjoying these two paintings, I was treated to a special tour of Modern Masters from Latin America: The Pérez Simón Collection at the San Diego Museum of Art. The exhibition contains nearly a hundred amazing works of art, including two original Frida Kahlo pieces. It also features a fun Frida and Me activity station for children.

This once-in-a-lifetime exhibition runs at the San Diego Museum of Art for a limited time. To see the blog concerning my amazing tour, as well as many photos from inside the Modern Masters from Latin America, click here.

A vibrant, butterfly-filled Purple Frida With The Orange Flower.
A vibrant, butterfly-filled Purple Frida With The Orange Flower, by San Diego artist RD Riccoboni.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Preparing for the holidays at Balboa Park!

Fun chalk art on a board outside Prado Perk. A hungry Pilgrim chases a Thanksgiving turkey that has been accelerated with coffee!
Fun chalk art on a board outside Prado Perk. A hungry Pilgrim chases a Thanksgiving turkey that has been accelerated with coffee!

Three days until Thanksgiving!

During my walk yesterday through Balboa Park, I saw signs everywhere of the coming holiday season. It seems everyone in the park is getting ready!

I even saw Santa Claus! Perhaps he dropped on by to see whether people were being naughty or nice!

These small snowmen at the Homemade Craft Sale in the Casa del Prado each contain a chocolate kiss.
These small snowmen at the Homemade Craft Sale in the Casa del Prado each contain a chocolate kiss.
The Old Globe's cheerful Christmas Tree is set up in Copley Plaza. The Grinch does not approve.
The Old Globe’s cheerful Christmas Tree is set up in Copley Plaza. The Grinch does not approve.
Good old Santa and his reindeer are back in Balboa Park, taking off between the Plaza de Panama and the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Good old Santa and his reindeer are back in Balboa Park, taking off between the Plaza de Panama and the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Almost ready for the holidays at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. The 4th Annual Children's Coalition Christmas on the Prado will take place this coming Saturday. December Nights this year will be on December 1 and 2.
Almost ready for the holidays at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. The 4th Annual Children’s Coalition Christmas on the Prado will take place this coming Saturday. December Nights this year will be on December 1 and 2.
The weekend before Thanksgiving, people gather inside the House of Sweden at the International Cottages to sing Christmas carols in Swedish.
The weekend before Thanksgiving, people gather inside the House of Sweden at the International Cottages to sing Christmas carols in Swedish.
Banners outside the Balboa Park Visitors Center wish everyone Happy Holidays and Peace.
Banners outside the Balboa Park Visitors Center wish everyone Happy Holidays and Peace.
The Nutcracker will be presented in December by the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet.
The Nutcracker will be presented in December by the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet.
Christmas cards for sale at the weekend's Homemade Craft Sale.
Christmas cards for sale at the weekend’s Homemade Craft Sale.
These festive Christmas tree ornaments are made of colorful pipe cleaners!
These festive Christmas tree ornaments are made of colorful pipe cleaners!
Santa might have swung by to pick up a new hat!
Santa might have swung by to pick up a new hat!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Dance and culture by the House of Spain.

Flamenco dancing during the House of Spain lawn program in Balboa Park.
Flamenco dancing during the House of Spain’s lawn program in Balboa Park.

Today the House of Spain in Balboa Park hosted the lawn program at the International Cottages. The cultural event featured music, folk dancing, tasty food and many welcoming smiles. Flamenco dancers strutted and whirled on the stage, adding life to an already wonderful day in the park.

Here are some photos…

Getting a big pan of tasty paella ready. I had some and it was really good.
A big pan of tasty paella. I had some and it was really good.
Many flowers and interesting exhibits can be seen inside the House of Spain's cottage.
Many flowers and interesting exhibits can be seen inside the House of Spain’s cottage.
A model of a Spanish galleon, very much like the one Cabrillo sailed in when he discovered San Diego Bay in 1542.
A model of a Spanish galleon, much like the one Cabrillo sailed in when he discovered San Diego Bay in 1542.
Art on the wall shows a bird's-eye view of Fort Guijarros. The old Spanish fort was built in 1797 on Ballast Point where it guarded San Diego Bay.
Art on the wall shows a bird’s-eye view of Fort Guijarros. The old Spanish fort was built in 1797 on Ballast Point where it guarded San Diego Bay.
Beautiful ceramic artwork on display inside the House of Spain's cottage in Balboa Park.
Beautiful ceramic artwork on display inside the House of Spain’s cottage in Balboa Park.
The featured entertainment during the cultural event was Spanish folk dancing.
The featured entertainment during the cultural event was Spanish folk dancing.
A dance of fuego--fire. This powerful, very expressive dance mesmerized those watching in the audience.
A dance of fuego–fire. This powerful, very expressive dance mesmerized those watching in the audience.
Fluidity and passion.
Fluidity and passion.
A colorful whirl of life.
A colorful whirl of life.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Magic dahlias explode in Balboa Park!

Blooms like fireworks inside the Casa del Prado. People enjoy a special flower show in Balboa Park, arranged by the San Diego County Dahlia Society.
Blooms like fireworks inside the Casa del Prado. People enjoy a magical flower show in Balboa Park, organized by the San Diego County Dahlia Society.

If you’d like to see something beautiful, take a look at these photographs. I was fortunate to capture some magic this afternoon inside the Casa del Prado. That’s where the San Diego County Dahlia Society was having a flower show.

Someone peers into an open door at the Casa del Prado in Balboa Park. Magic awaits inside.
A visitor to Balboa Park peers through an open door. Magic awaits inside.
A burst of exquisite beauty.
An explosion of exquisite beauty.

Delicate white petals.
Delicate white petals.

My camera by sheer accident took the artistic photograph that you see here!
My camera by accident took the photograph that you see here! Must be magic!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Do you love beautiful things? Visit my magical photography blog which I’ve titled A Small World Full of Beauty.