The Top 3 Festivals on the Azores in 2018 everyone needs to attend
1. Festas do Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres – The Festival of the Lord Holy Christ of the Miracles
This festival has been one of my most significant experiences last year. My Azorean friends have me the thumbs up several days before, that the most important festival of the Azores is coming up. The wooden image of Christ which you can see on the photos annually leads a procession through the streets of Ponta Delgada. Normally, this statue and piece of art is on display in the Sanctuary of the Lord Holy Christ, in the Convent of Our Lady of Hope in Ponta Delgada, at the Campo de Sao Francisco place. This place is where the procession starts. Preparations start early in the morning, when the people of Ponta Delgada create a beautiful flowered tapestry path to mark the route of the procession which takes until dawn the day after. In 1700, the island of São Miguel was rocked by tremors and earthquakes, which lasted several days. The council and the nobles of the city decided to take the image of Santo Cristo in procession from the Convent through the city. It has since then become a tradition, and in 1713 during a procession – according to the legend – the holy image (to the wonder and amazement of all) fell outside the grounds, and immediately all seismic activities ceased . Annually, the celebrations in Ponta Delgada attract thousands of Azoreans, even Azoreans who immigrated to Canada and the United States to São Miguel. After speaking to the people taking part in the procession I found, that everyone expects a miracle for „him/herself or his/her family” from the attendance. This is a major event in the lives of the people of São Miguel, which is signified by the fact that there are ongoing celebrations for 2 weeks and that the day after the procession is a public holiday.
In 2018 the festival starts on the 28th of April and ends on the 10th of May. The procession in Ponta Delgada takes place on the 6th of May, 2018. The public holiday is on the 7th of May, 2018 with arts & crafts market and open air concerts. You can find more information here: http://www.santo-cristo.com/
Source : Wikipedia
2. Festas de São João Da Vila – Festival of Saint John
The festival of Saint John in Vila Franca do Campo has been my second most important experience in 2017. It has been a very memorable event, because this was the first time my parents visited the islands, and immediately on the day after our arrival we have found ourselves in the midst of a very colorful and jubilant crowd. Babies and the elderly alike, everyone took part in the dancing and singing. It was fantastic. After the procession there were open air concerts for everyone to enjoy.
The origin of St. John’s dates back to the 14th century and at the beginning, it was a pagan feast, where the people worshipped the Sun god and celebrated the abundant crops. Then it was made into a Christian celebration, in honour of St. John the Baptist. In the times in which it was a pagan feast, they also celebrated fertility and one of the traditions was to hang a leek on the wall of the house for good luck. Herbs are also still an important part of this festival. You’ll find bush basils for sale, for example, because apart from their therapeutic properties, people still believe they bring health, good luck and fortune .
This festival is celebrated in several cities across Portugal. On Sao Miguel, in Vila Franca do Campo there is a procession, where dancing groups representing the cities of the Azores are celebrating the abundant crops with singing and dancing. It is an incredibly colorful and happy festival, a must see if you happen to be visiting at this time of the year.
In 2018 the festival takes place between the 16th and the 24th of June. There are multiple processions in several cities in Sao Miguel during this period. The festival in Vila Franca do Campo will be probably on the 23rd of June. I have not found more information yet, the event website still features the programm from last year.
3. Wine in Azores on Terceira and Sao Miguel islands
In the top list of festivals only 3rd place, but in its own category the Wine in Azores is a first class wine festival on the Azores, where participants can taste Portuguese and Azorean wine, and other gastronomical feats. I love this festival so much I dedicated more blog posts to it. You can read the blog entries detailing my experiences about this event in 2017 in Riberia Grande here and here. Join us, if you can, in 2018. I am planning to organize a group excursion and a wine tasting at Wine in Azores. It is a must see if you happen to be on the Azores on the following dates at the following locations:
Terceira island, 25th – 27th of May, 2018
Sao Miguel island, Riberia Grande, 19th – 21st of October, 2018
The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, established in 2009 and created by Red Bull, is an annual international series of cliff diving events in which a limited number of competitors determine the Cliff Diving World Series winner.
Divers jump from a platform at a height ranging from 26 – 28 m (85 – 92 ft). Competitions are held in a limited number of venues around the globe.*
Sao Miguel Island is the third location in the 2018 series. There are 22 world class cliff divers from 9 different countries participating in the competition. It will be very spectacular and exciting! ❤️
I missed this fantastic event last year but this year I would like to watch it from a boat with a group of friends. I am getting the impression that there is a festival every week, if not every day, on the Azores – especially in the summer.
Write in your diary: 14th of July, 2018 Red Bull Cliff Diving
Photo gallery of the event