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Competitors are serious and the action is fast and furious at the Hungarian gravediggers championship

In Hungary, the profession of grave digging is taken in a most deadly serious manner. Every year, in June, the Hungarian Undertakers Association holds it national grave digging championship. This year’s championship competition was held in Hungary’s second largest city of Debrecen.

The action was fast and furious as 18 two man teams competed to see who could dig the fastest and most precise regulation sized grave. All of the teams were assigned specific positions at gravesites at one of the city’s largest cemeteries. Zoltan Juracsik, the president of the Hungarian Undertakers Association said, “I don’t think this is morbid at all. This is a profession and the colleagues who toil in competition today are proud and deserve our respect.”

The winners of the competition finished up in about 30 minutes while the dead last stragglers finished in around an hour’s time. The graves had to be a perfect 7′ x 2′ 7″ x 5′. The winners will now get to represent Hungary in a regional championship that will feature grave digging champions from Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic.

Much of the grave digging is still done by hand as many of the cemeteries are too crowded to bring in the larger machinery to do the digging. The association holds the competitions as a way to try and recruit younger men and women into the profession.