Festas Gualterianas

Gualterianas, Festas

Four days beginning the first Sunday in August
The Festivals of St. Walter take place in Guimarães, the 12th-century capital of Portugal. The celebrations, which date back to 1452, include magnificent processions, fireworks, animal fairs, and displays of food and merchandise. Music, ranging from brass bands to modern jazz, can be heard all over the town.
St. Walter (or São Gualter), the town's patron, is represented by an image of a young Franciscan monk who stands in the nave of Senhor dos Passos (Our Lord of the Way of the Cross), the blue-and-white-tiled church that overlooks the town's public garden.
During a Sunday night procession known as the Procissão Gualteriana, the image of the saint is carried from the church through the decorated streets of Guimarães while thousands of spectators gather to watch. The procession is followed by a night of fireworks, folk dancing in regional costume, and great activity at the shooting galleries and sideshows that line the streets. The festival culminates on Wednesday with the Marcha Gualteriana, a midnight procession of 12 allegorical floats.
CONTACTS:
Portuguese National Tourist Office
590 Fifth Ave., 4th Fl.
New York, NY 10036
800-767-8842 or 212-354-4403; fax: 212-764-6137
www.visitportugal.com
SOURCES:
FestWestEur-1958, p. 181