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 [1]. 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 [1]: 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 [2].

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.

Source [2]: http://​www​.vis​it​ar​-porto​.com/​e​n​/​w​h​a​t​s​-​o​n​/​p​o​r​t​o​-​e​v​e​n​t​s​/​f​e​s​t​a​-​d​e​-​s​a​o​-​j​o​a​o​.​h​tml

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

My pre­vi­ous posts about the fest­iv­al: Wine in Azores 1 and Wine in Azores 2

+1 Red Bull Cliff Diving Vila Franca Islet

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

* https://​en​.wiki​pe​dia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​R​e​d​_​B​u​l​l​_​C​l​i​f​f​_​D​i​v​i​n​g​_​W​o​r​l​d​_​S​e​r​ies

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