"Local Festivals and Celebrations" Ilha de Santa Maria Local Custom Tip by mircaskirca

Ilha de Santa Maria Local Customs: 3 reviews and 9 photos

by mircaskirca
  • Local Festivals and Celebrations - Ilha de Santa Maria
  • Festa de São João - socializing with food & drink - Ilha de Santa Maria
      Festa de São João - socializing with food & drink
    by mircaskirca
  • grilled sardines and red wine - Ilha de Santa Maria
      grilled sardines and red wine
    by mircaskirca

Traditional festas populares (saint's day festivals) from May through September are very important to the Azorean people and are a testimony to a deep religious faith of the people. The number of emigrants from around the world arrive to participate in these festivities. A few of the festivities are unique to one of the Azorean islands, but most are celebrated throughout the islands with only minor differences.

The most popular is Festa do Espírito Santo (Holy Ghost Festival). The festival is rooted in medieval traditions and is generally held seven weeks following Easter. It includes lively parades, dancing and large feasts. As part of the tradition, sopa do Espírito Santo and sweet bread known as pão doçe is served.

Festas de Santo António are held a second week of June in Santo Espirito. One of the most beloved saint of the people is São João (St. John) and around the time of São João on the 24th of June, the famous festivities take place in Vila do Porto. I was lucky to visit Santa Maria at this time so I could attended the festivities one night. The largest festival on the island, Festas de Nossa Senhora da Assunção, with traditional and religious characteristics, is held in Vila do Porto on the 15th of August in honour of its patron saint.

Santa Maria has been hosting the Maré de Agosto world music festival since 1987, attracting national and international artists to perform under the Azorean stars. The festival takes place on Praia Formosa the third weekend of August.

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  • Updated Jul 17, 2009
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