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  • Writer's pictureOut of the Blue

FESTIVITIES AND EVENTS ON SÃO MIGUEL ISLAND

Updated: Apr 8

Even though São Miguel is located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and one would say that nothing happens here, our island has a pretty vivid lifestyle :)


Have a look on the most recognizable festivities and events which take place on the São Miguel island and plan your next adventure!



FEBRUARY


Batalha das Limas

Batalia das Limas in Ponta Delgada

The "Battle of Limes" is a Micaelense tradition which takes place on the Carnival Tuesday in Ponta Delgada. In old times it began with flowers, which were later replaced by "limes", small paraffin containers produced by hand to fill with water. Since paraffin started getting more expensive, people began mixing it with wax - "limes" became thicker and as a result caused many bruises. Nowadays, around 10 trucks filled with "fighters" throw at each other "modern limes" - balloons and plastic bags filled with water. It's a fun day when everyone gets wet - you can join the battle as well, just make sure that you have enough "limes"!


Festival da Malassada

Malassada, meaning "badly baked" ("mal-assada") is a Portuguese type of pastry made of yeast dough which is deep-fried in oil and coated with sugar. It's prepared mostly during Carnival and Easter holidays, however nowadays you can find them on most Azorean festivities organised throughout the year. They are so popular that there even is their festival! Visit Lagoa in February and taste malassadas prepared by various teams!


Corso Carnavalesco

Corso Carnavalesco in Pico da Pedra

We are still in the Carnival time with plenty carnival processions taking place on the island. The one in Pico da Pedra is the oldest one of São Miguel. In 2024 over 400 participants marched on the main street of the town making this 43rd edition a very memorable one.








MARCH


Romeiros

Romeiros, the São Miguel Pilgrims, are groups of men who, during Lent, go on a walking one-week journey around the island in fulfilment of promises. They do it in order to penance for own and others sins, to praise and thank the Lord for graces received, for no earthquakes, nor volcano eruptions, as well as to implore God's peace and blessings on humanity. A very unique fact is that they always walk with the sea on their left hand-side. When driving local streets by car you can find them singing and praying along the way. This tradition is specific to São Miguel island.


Tremor

Year by year being called the "weirdest", alternative music festival, Tremor is a lifetime experience for every music lover. Organised every year with the main stage in Ponta Delgada, Tremor invites you to explore São Miguel island in a very unique way - following captivating sounds and melodies in the Azorean lush forests, volcano craters and places sometimes not known even to locals! Make sure to buy the ticket in advance, they're limited and run out quickly!


APRIL


Festa da Flor

The Flower Festival takes place on the main square of Ribeira Grande and it's a truly colourful event. During those days everything is about flowers: exhibitions, sport activities, theatre plays as well as the flower market. The highlight is the flower parade - truly a must-see!


MAY


Festival of Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres

Festival of Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres - flower carpet

The most important and the biggest religious festivity in the Azores takes place on the 5th Sunday after Easter. It dates back to the end of the 17th century with the fame of the miracles obtained through the intercessors of the Lord Holy Christ. The most recognisable moment is the endless procession with thousands of participants from every island of the Azores who march on famous flower carpets. During those 6 days Ponta Delgada is transformed into a town full of colours, animation and... party!


JUNE


Marchas de São Pedro

Marchas de São Pedro in Ribeira Seca

Traditional marches, which are a highlight of the São Pedro festivities, take place in Ribeira Seca on the night before the day of São Pedro, the parish's patron saint. During the parade groups of beautifully dressed marchers and musicians walk along streets bringing a lot of joy and amusement - it's a not-to-miss spectacular! In 2023 the 30th edition gathered over 1500 participants.





Cavalhadas de São Pedro

In the morning of Saint Peter's day in Ribeira Grande and Ribeira Seca you can spot a king and knights riding their horses dressed in white and red capes. You can easily move in time back and become a witness of another knighthood ceremony. The spectacle ends at the church of Sao Pedro when the “king” greets the saint and makes his horse place its front hoofs on the door of the church.


JULY


Grandes Festas do Divino Espirito Santo

The Holy Ghost festivities take place on Sundays between April and July in almost all villages of São Miguel island. It's a magical moment when you are walking back from a hike and stopped by locals who invite you to join their long table full of food and drinks just in the middle of the main street of their town! The main part of festivities is a mass and coronation which is followed by a procession accompanied by a philharmonic band.


Whatever the time of the year, you can truly enjoy the Azores.


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