São Miguel

Festivities

São Miguel Island has many interesting cultural activities that you can enjoy during your holidays. the Holy Ghost Festivals represent an Azorean religious tradition, which is celebrated on all the islands. They take place around chapels called Impérios (Empires) from May to September. Intrinsically linked to São Miguel, the age-old Festa do Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres (Lord Holy Christ of Miracles Festival) venerates the statue of Christ kept at the Esperança Chapel in Ponta Delgada. The festivities last for three days and take place around the fifth Sunday after Easter Sunday. The Romeiros (Pilgrims) of São Miguel are groups of men who walk the island on foot during Lent, praying and visiting churches and chapels dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Starting in the parish of Ribeira Seca, municipality of Ribeira Grande, the Cavalhadas de São Pedro (Saint Peter’s Horse Riders) take place on 29 June and are a parade of horse riders dressed in colourful outfits – symbolising a king, knights, lancers, stewards and horn players or trumpeters,  riding equally adorned horses. Carnival is lively enjoyed in Ponta Delgada. The Batalha das Limas (Water Battle) is a tradition that persists, with groups confronting each other on the streets of the city throwing at each other various types of “weapons” filled with water. The festive season also includes various gala balls with merry-makers dressed in evening suits. There are various carnival parades in different localities which attract many participants and enthusiasts.

Dancing and brass band concerts are frequent throughout the various parishes of the island, especially during the festivities in honour of each locality’s patron saint. New Year’s Eve attains a new dimension at the Portas do Mar in Ponta Delgada, with its marina and cruise-ship terminal providing a new stage for music shows and exhibitions, with restaurants and bars animating the evening in the city.

Highlights