The town of Salir will be celebrating one more edition of the Espiga Festival with a programme that includes a variety of cultural, sport and gastronomic activities, divided into three different themed nights: the Espiga Night (May 9), Popular Night (May 10) and Young Night (May 11).
The celebrations start with a variety of events, ranging from walks and mountain bike rides in the morning, the opening of small bistros serving traditional regional snacks (“tasquinhas”) at 1pm, regional product displays, and musical and dance performances, courtesy of the Rancho Folclórico “As Mondadeiras das Barrosas”, the Ethnographic Group of Serra do Caldeirão, “E Viva a Música”, Cláudio Rosário and Augusto Canário & Amigos.
The most important event of the first day of the festival happens at 3pm with the traditional ethnographic parade representing the agricultural activity of this rural town.
The next day will be dedicated to the elderly and will be celebrated with a Seniors Afternoon, which will include a dance and an afternoon snack.
Various artists will be performing: Diogo Ramos (participant of the Portuguese Idols competition), Gonçalo Tardão (dance), fado singer André Catarino, the Beatles tribute band The Bottles and popular artist Gil Rosa.
To end the festivities on May 11, the traditional Espiguinhas Afternoon will be held for the younger audience, as well as the performance of the “Pé na Estrada” group, and the Miss and Mister Espiga pageant.
Later, there will be another regional product display, coinciding with the performance of the “Duo de Acordeonistas”, followed by a traditional dance with Silvino Campos.
Later that night, the headliners Frankie Chavez and Primitive Reason will perform, followed by 1980s music.
The tradition behind these celebrations originates from the “Espiga Day” or “Espiga Thursday”, particularly in the south of the country where the inhabitants travel to the fields and collect the ears of wheat, which symbolise their livelihood and the rich abundance of food from the soil. Then they are hung in the house for a year, until they are replaced by next year’s “espiga”.