Festival of The Knights of St. Peter in Sao Miguel

ef209-12525443_10204739926291872_3991688300627118303_oThe festival of the knights of St. Peter or otherwise known as “Cavalhadas de Sao Pedro” is one of the oldest festivals in the Azores and originates in the county of Ribeira Grande in the town of Ribeira Seca. Inspired by medieval tournaments with the knights of the region; most notably the Counts of Ribeira Grande, whom started this tradition centuries ago. This is one of the most colourful festivals that takes place during the summer here in the Azores and is a must see for the equestrian enthusiast.0a4ed-12633558_10204739926331873_812437503525623015_oThis annual event takes places at the end of the month of June and has been a tradition for the region for hundreds of years. Here you can watch a beautiful show where hundreds of jockeys are in colourful garments with flowers adoring the horses as they parade down the streets with all the bells and whistles that go along with such a royal parade. The colors are outstanding and the festival brings locals from all over the island to celebrate in this ancient tradition and pay tribute to the patron saint of the town St. Peter.76342-12552930_10204739652365024_9044826862673800507_nThe route starts at the 17th Century manor home “Mafoma-Corte Real” which has remained in the same family since it was built-in 1748. The elaborate garden is opened up for the event where the horses all start here by performing a show for the spectators. After the show at this noble residence the horses begin to proceed down the parade route to the church of St. Peter’s where they pay tribute to the patron saint of the town and a large mass is held. The city of Ribeira Seca shines during this celebration as all the homes and streets are decorated for this special occasion with local plants and flowers and some even hanging white linens from their windows of their homes along the parade route. All these are ancient traditions that have been passed down for generations on the island and is part of the unique island culture that exists here.ab4f6-12646855_10204739662365274_2881149385264721650_oThe town square hosts countless events throughout the day and late into the evening with the streets all lit up; filled with residents, tourists and vendors. The food from the vendors is generally very good with a wide variety of local island treats available for you to enjoy. Some of the selections include of course the famous bifana sandwich “Pork sandwich” which is marinated Portuguese spices and tastes outstanding. It is not uncommon to see line ups of people waiting to get their hands on this famous Portuguese sandwich; which is served in a hot crusty Portuguese roll. The flavors do not compare to anything outside of Azores as the ingredients and water in the bread is much different and is truly an Azorean experience while admiring the busy celebration. Also, a special treat is the local, island made ice creams from the famous Cha Gorreana tea plantation available at special outlets at the festival. Using only the finest local grown fruits such as pineapple, passionfruit,  mango and even kiwi these ice creams have become a must have since they were launched in 2012.2d261-stptrs

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