We never take any time off together, or go anywhere together for that matter, so we decided that this year we would visit all the Festas in our area. Every weekend from July until the beginning of September most of the villages in Portugal have their own Festa, a party to the likes of us, but most have a religious significance, processions, church services, but also local bands,
raffles, I failed to win the first prize again, a goat
big sit-down meals and tasty snacks
We visted the Vinho Festa, were we banged a lot of nails into a piece of wood, much hilarity was had, mostly with the ridiculous hammer. The first one with a nail down, pays for the nails, 10c each, the last one down, buys the drinks, and here in Vinho, you can hit anyones nails...we literally got hammered!!
Unfortunately for us the evening events don't really kick-off until after 10pm which makes it difficult to attend (I am usually in bed by 11pm), but we persevered.
We planned each weekend carefully, making sure we went to the village with the best band on Friday and Saturday nights and by Sunday we were burnt out but attended non the less.
We gate crashed a procession in Pai Das Donas, visiting each open house with the father and son accordion players, eating snacks and drinking some very dubious alcohols, always being forced upon us This particular event started very strangely as we really were clearly not part of the village, but we knew the accordion player and his wife and were begged to stay and continue, by the end of the night we had made lots of new friends, some of who only come once a year. Pai Das Donas is a tiny village with a permanent residency of 9!!
We nearly got the hang of the dance (although we were still the laughing stock of everyone!!)
There is a lovely sense of celebration here in the summer, a celebration of life, a real family event, a coming togetherness. Something I've not experienced before. It's amazing to feel part of that and to be welcomed into the hearts of so many not to mention the houses and the food and the drink.
Thank you kind people of Portugal/obrigado gente amável de Portugal