Easter celebrated in São Brás with flower torch festival

Century-old celebration is one of Algarve’s biggest Easter events

São Brás de Alportel will continue to stay true to its traditions with yet another edition of ‘Festa das Tochas Floridas’, its century-old flower torch show which will be held on Easter Sunday (April 9).

The event is one of the biggest Easter festivities held in the Algarve and is inspired by a once popular Easter tradition that took place throughout the region.

Every year on Easter Sunday, streets are adorned with ‘carpets’ of flowers while a procession is carried out with local citizens carrying torches of flowers while chanting religious hymns.

“Festa das Tochas Floridas involves the entire community and different generations, attracting thousands of national and international tourists who choose to live Easter in a vibrant and unique way in São Brás de Alportel,” the local council says.

The event begins with a “week-long marathon” of gathering flowers and preparing the ‘carpets’ of flowers, which is only possible thanks to the “hard work of hundreds of volunteers,” it adds.

The festivities begin at 9.30am with the unveiling of breathtaking decorations around the town, the opening of a market showcasing “Easter flavours” at Largo de São Sebastião and a handicraft fair outside the local church.

At 10am, the Ressurection Eucharist will begin at the church followed by the popular ‘Aleluia’ (Hallelujah) procession, which has seen generations of local men carrying the flower torches whilst chanting “He has risen, as he said. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”.

From 3pm onwards, the churchyard will host ‘Tarde Cultural’ (Cultural Afternoon), which will feature a handicraft fair, stalls selling sweets and ‘petiscos’ (tapas), a contest to elect the “most beautiful flower torches” and musical performances.

Taste the “Flavours of Caldeirão”

São Brás de Alportel is also hosting a two-week gastronomic event entitled ‘Sabores do Caldeirão’ (Flavours of Caldeirão).

Taking place between April 4 and 16, the event features eight local restaurants: 4 à mesa, Brilhafigura, Cantinho da Lili, Sabores do Campo, Sal da Serra, Tachinho da Avó Luísa, The Owl and Ysconderijo.

Menus served will be inspired by the Easter season and follow the Mediterranean Diet’s standards and local cultural traditions, the local council says.

The event’s main goal is to “dynamise the local economy and promote typical Algarvian cuisine,” it adds.

By Michael Bruxo

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