Sao Pedro festival – Be there or be square

If you’re a tourist in the Madeira Island vacationing in Funchal, You’d definitely be recommended by your hotel desk clerk to visit Câmara de Lobos. And If by chance you get there between 27th of June and 1st of July you encounter on your way to this fascinating fishermen town, an extremely long line of parked cars stretching from a distance of around 2 kilometres to the actual destination. Besides this, when you approach closer to the main square you will most probably hear lots of cheer and unworried laugh compounded with joyful music praising the name of a certain man. This man is a patron of fishermen and favourite religious saint of Câmara de Lobos people. It’s São Pedro (Saint Peter).

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Picture: Letters hanged over the water illuminating the name of the SaoPedro, Baía de Câmara De Lobos

Saint Peter is next to Saint Antonio and Saint Joao a favourite June saint and that’s why, although the exact day of the celebration is June 29th, people of Câmara de Lobos engage in merriment of celebrating Saint Peter practically whole week. And this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone as Câmara de Lobos is first and foremost the town of fishermen.

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Picture: Parade performers, Baía de Câmara De Lobos

What you can experience during festivities? Well, nearly all what a good festivity should provide you with. From my practical knowledge I can promise that no one be bored. The celebration is organized with the utmost care to the smallest detail. It exhibits entire traditional face of Câmara de Lobos. It includes colourful parades, singing and dancing in the streets. In case you get thirsty or hungry you can refresh yourself at sidewalk stalls where extensive platters of traditional dishes and countless litters of beverage await to serve your palate.

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Picture: Main stage, Baía de Câmara De Lobos

Besides food, there’re interesting stories to be told to feed the mind. I’ve been told that the night from 29th to 30th of June is favourable for various foretelling future games. One of common ways for young girls to find whom they will marry is to knock at nine different doors without voicing a single word. If total silence is maintained throughout this practice, the first boy that the girl sees in the morning through her window will become her loved-one. Well, in most cases it’s just a general idea, not a specified person; whom the girl may marry up. Let’s hope she doesn’t lay her eyes first at a dipsomaniac or another rogue.

To top this all, during these wonderful festivities you will have a chance to see second to none fireworks in the island. These are just overwhelmingly impressive.

 

Author: Dariusz Sirko

 

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