Easter Sunday in Sao Bras de Alportel is a glorious, joyous occasion. The streets are lined with flowers and greenery, all lovingly done by the hands of local volunteers. I can only imagine how many hours it takes to lay down several kilometres of flowers in intricate designs. Men and boys carrying astounding floral arrangements parade through the streets and calling Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia. It seems that they cluster in groups and they definitely try to out cheer one another. A form of non-violent competition, it seems.
Bedspreads are hung from windows to pick up good luck as the parade passes by. Thousands come out to view, eat goodies from market stands, buy balloons for the kids and visit with one another. After the parade there is music, more food and a true Portuguese party atmosphere. Definitely an event not to be missed. The parade starts around 11ish, but arrive early cause parking gets tight.
I’m not a religious person and I choose to live a pretty untraditional lifestyle.Â But I remain fascinated by religion, faith and the many ways in which people retain long-held traditions in our world.
One thing that I love about the Algarve is that its people seem to excel at maintaining a fairly traditional lifestyle in spite of that fact that they are swamped by tourists year in and year out.Â That’s a theme that I am planning to explore in future visits.
But for now, I am reveling in the memories of my experience last spring of Easter in the Algarve.Â Today’s post focuses on the night-time procession that happens on Good Friday through the streets of Silves, Algarve.Â The faithful walk slowly along with litters carrying images of Christ and the Virgin Mary, beginning at the Cathedral and snaking their way through much of the historic district.Â It takes a good 90 minutes to 2 hrs before the procession climbs back up the hill to the Cathedral.Â What a delight it was to be present to so many people making their silent way to observe a 2,000 year old event that still holds meaning in their lives.
Gwen McCauley here, Algarve travel expert and culinary tour guide. Welcome to my site and to the opportunity to host you on either one of my Custom Culinary Tours or my week-long scheduled A Taste of Algarve tours.
Explore the pages on this site. Feel free to connect with me with your questions and curiosities.
You may also be interested in knowing that I sustain collaborations with friendly and knowledgeable guides in other parts of Portugal. Mary H. Goudie, Lisbon, and I, in particular, often collaborate to offer our clients a 2-location custom culinary experience. Ask about how we can make your next visit to Portugal one you'll never forget . . .in the most positive and delightful way!