Debrecen, the second largest city in Hungary, is located on the Great Hungarian Plain, 220 km (137 mi) east of Budapest. The city hosts a Flower Carnival on St. Stephen's Day, as a vital part of a huge regional festival, lasting ten consecutive days. The first staging of the flower parade dates back to 1966, in honor of the foundation of Hungary.
Nowadays, various businesses and international companies are sponsoring the approximately 15-16 carriages, where more than 3 million strands of flowers are used to create a magnificent sea of colours. Whilst the preparation of the carnival starts months in advance, the decoration of the carriages begins 2-3 weeks prior to the event; usually 30-40 people work on each composition. The last living flowers are placed on the carriages in the night before the parade.
Traditionally, the first carriage of the parade is displaying the Holy Crown, symbol of the Hungarian statehood and most important national relic. The 5th Infantry Brigade "István Bocskai" Military Band accompanies the carriage, expanded with historical flags and folk groups.