Sunday, July 4, 2010

It's Festa Time

The Festa is a big thing in Portugal, every village has their own Festa, some lasting a week but most take place over the weekend. The whole village or valley come together to walk the streets, watch the entertainment and drink! Now, I'm no expert (I have been to two so far), but I can see a theme.

1. Parade your religious/local hero icon
2. Hang around a bit
3. Listen to some wonderful local music
4. Wait for the entertainment to arrive, which is usually a singing group with very scantly clad women dancers! For example: Meet Nuno and the Nunetts, who performed at the Figueiró dos Vinhos Festa in June.

Or the girls who performed at the local Castanheira de Pera Festa.

The dances seem to be the same. Wave hands in the air (like you just don't care), wiggle at little, flick hair, repeat until fade!

These events are fantastic, local community getting together. It is something that is lacking in England I think, or at least something I didn't experience in London (Boat Race day is not the same).

Today at our local Festa in Castanheira de Pera we had some local dancing, none of this wiggles and flicks. It was great fun, a parade through town then performing different dances on stage to a audience that was a little too hot from the sun. The costumes were fantastic, and a real display of their local heritage, that everyone can enjoy and get the nostalgic feeling for past times that the Portuguese call - Saudades.

More Festa's next weekend. Looking forward to all I need to do is work out this hair flick and I think I'm in the band!

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