From May to September, in the great festivals of Minho, the litters and processions shine, the brass bands and folk groups, the “gigantones”, the drums, the concertinas and the competitive singers, but the real queens of the holidays are the Stewards: brides, ladies and peasants.
«Take notice that I’ve just returned from the hilltop, with eight cows, one polecat ox, almost twenty heads of cattle and a donkey. The female donkey was not out today, because he went to get a carload of corn with her. Later today, they go out again at 4h30/5 am, back to the mountain. They return home at about 8 am. I still go out with them almost every single day. In fact, I only just arrived. It was him… You see, we’re putting them in stores, because some gave birth, they have small calves, there’s one that has a calf about 4 months old now. Now they’re almost having cubs, again. They’re all giving birth, consequently... We have the polecat ox... We have everything...»
DANIEL RUA, Arcos de Cervos, Montalegre, August 2010
DANIEL RUA (83a): ARCOS DE CERVOS 27 August 2010 0'46''
From May to September, in the great festivals of Minho, the litters and processions shine, the brass bands and folk groups, the big-heads and giant puppets, the drums, the concertinas and the competitive singers, but the real queens of the holidays are the Stewards: Brides, Ladies and Peasants.
People celebrate a night of entertainment in honour of St. John´s Evangelist, the village patron from December 27th to 28th.
The boys, eager for entertainment, mark the day around a huge bonfire, which still emits smoke in the village´s
(...) In Pedrário, the beautiful church of Romannesque style remains closed. In this village, the cross of Christ only comes every two years. Albina Teixeira doesn't go to church, the messe is celebrated in the nearby village of Sarraquinhos. She has already lost the count of the years that she lived and she has almost lost the faith...
Being a woman in the interior of Portugal, highlander and deep, it's almost always a sign of pain and grief. Dark scarves are traces of a loss: the youth loss which threatens everything or the loss of the chief of the family who was dominant or — even more painful — two losses at the same time...
VILAR, BOTICAS Maria Gonçalves Malta (82)
VILARINHO SECO Felicidade Coelho (74)
(...) All these pilgrimages together, year after year, join thousands of people, and in these festivals there are many wonderful sacred and profane rituals which are mixed together and complete themselves in an imaginary expression of faith and tradition.
In Amarante the June´s festivals are dedicated to St. Gonçalo.
Disputed monk between Benedictines and Dominicans, is worshiped by the people and is known as the old ladies matchmaker, wonder-worker and merry fellow...
Many families, specially from the east, keep the costume of praying daily in front of these icons, believing in its advantages:
«they have powers that Our Lord has given to them and are examples of the faith that has costed them many sacrifices», people told me.
«This is not what people say it is…» (said Ana)
Since I want to “fool me” so much, I will take some photos… «So the machine is no good?» — she asks.
They can leave the land, but nobody can take their pride away or the people´s wisdom.
That´s how it is in Montesinho…
Ana Mercês is 88 years old and she´s from Aveleda.
«And we now offer you a bit of rum and a piece of bread, do you accept? How about a slice of tender meat or pork? Look, I give you! Nice and clean, the bread is from baker and the ham is also good. Would you like a piece of pork? I give you! And I’ll give to you in willingly...»
LUCINDA PILOTO (82) Pitões das Júnias
BEYOND MARÃO MOUNTAIN: A SUPERB AREA OF WATER AND STONE
The Marão mountain is a superb area of water and stone. (...) The rudeness of the people that lives here may be due to the same reasons that support wild cows dark brown, wild goats and rabbits, wolves and a large black crows with many legends and superstitions...
For those who leave the Valley of Sabor still cloudy and goes up to the upland from Miranda, just after the Dawn, passing through Carviçais, Fornos, Lagoaça, Mogadouro… you should see the donkey´s wagon that have taken the asphalted street carrying the labour of the first hours of work, still in the company of their old owners. These animals are the main event in the 'Gorazes'
(the market), every year on October 30th.
(...) The great majority of users that runs between the small stations and stops are unskilled workers, small shopkeepers and old people without their own means of transport, who have to travel daily to their work, visit family and friends or do shopping in the markets. They make «train lives».
ALTO DOURO WINE REGION — UNESCO World Heritage Centre Wine has been produced by
traditional landholders in the Alto Douro region for some 2,000 years. Since the 18th century, its main product, port wine, has been world famous for its quality. This long tradition of viticulture has produced a cultural landscape of outstanding beauty.