WELCOME TO Val's Alentejo -I write about my region of Alentejo. My art ,painting, my cottages, Family life, my animals -Travels And my love for Roses- and rural country life.

Saturday, 28 April 2012


Today between 5pm and 6pm . I will be off to the village 6k from my quinta. to Viana do Alentejo, to see the horses and carriages arriving on their 12th "Romaria" from Moita. Tomorrow the blessings will take place next to the village church..all passing by in perfect file for the priest to bless them all.

The "Romaria" trek 150km starting in the town of Moita and ending at the sanctuary of "Nossa snr d'aires. The riders and horses are blessed before they leave the church of "Our lady of good voyage" In Moita
The virgin is placed in a special covered carriage and the "Romaria" begins.

A "Romaria" is when the virgin mary who might be the patron of the village is moved from one church to another. This "Romaria is on horsback" Its the most fantastic sight to see.

The horses will be here at "Nossa snr d' Aires" where the virgin will rest. The festivity is to give thanks for good crops and the horses and animals who help the the farmers and the agricultural community.
The beautifully flower decorated carriage that leads the
The carriage the virgin will be taken in, along the route. This ceremony started in the last century and has gathered momentum throughout the years. In the last ten years, people from other countries now join in. Organising horses or bringing their own .
Here are the horses with Carriages, beautiful Charets.. brilliantly groomed horses, some just simple , but all most lovely to see and watch. It is a three day trek.. the followers camp along the way, singing songs and exchanging stories by the camp fire.
Passing by farms and along dirt roads away from the mainstream traffic routes.
Announcing the start of the "Romaria" in Moita.. Many dressed in traditional equestrian attire of the Alentejo.

Living in a Catholic country . We get to have all kinds of lovely festivities.. from the South of the country to the North. One does not need to be Catholic to enjoy these lovely festivities. Every village have their own traditions. The festivities are for everyone. Its a happy occasion.
This Romaria is one of ours. Tonight the streets will be lined with people waiting to see their arrival.
I only wish i was some years younger.. I would be there amongst the riders.

Hope you enjoy this post. We have such wonderful "festas" here life is never dull.

Happy weekend.


  1. Hello Val:
    We absolutely love all these ancient traditions and the fact that they continue to be observed today. It gives one such a feeling of continuity with history.

    We are sure that you will have a lovely time and hope that the weather is as good with you as it is here since that makes the enjoyment of such events even greater.

    We look forward to reading all about it on your return.

  2. Dear Val - that sounds absolutely wonderful, and perfect material for your camera to take some lovely photos. Have a wonderful time, the procession of the horses and carriages will be a sight to see, and may the sun shine on you all.

  3. Thank you Rosemary,
    Manel and the family are here. We are going at 4.30
    Camera and all.
    I havent been to see them in a couple of years.
    Happy Saturday

  4. Dear Jane and Lance,
    Manel and family are here at Alfange this weekend.. We will be going together to see the procession.
    Hope i can get some good photos.
    It is wonderful that the old world keeps up all the traditions.
    Happy saturday

  5. WOW, Val! Looks like something out of ZORRO! Don Diego de la Vega, here I come!
    Jikes apart... this looks like something really, really interesting and colourful. I've never seen anything like it! And of course, it must already be quite warm, over there!

    Enjoy the day and the experience!

    Buon wekkend!


  6. Cara amici Anna,
    Your comments made me laugh.. ha ha
    Yes, one could think we were going to see
    Antonio Banderas ..galloping along with them.
    This kind of festival also happens in Spain.
    I am off with my son Manel and family at 5 to see them arriving.
    Its cold and wet. uggg.

  7. Val: That is all so beautiful. Such heritage. I will only hope to see things such as that in movies..Have a wonderful time..Happy Weekend..Judy

  8. Dear Val,
    thank you for stopping by today. I always love to have you over at my blog.
    How nice of you to share all all these wonderful things about your country. I have especially enjoyed reading about this horses and horseriders festival.
    must really be extraordinary to participate.
    wishing you a wonderful Sunday

    p.s. did some past posts catch up: congrats on your award. very much deserved!

  9. Thank you Very much Rita,
    Nice to see your lovely comments.
    You were abscent for a while, but i see you are back again.
    I was out today and will be posting photos tomorrow.
    happy sunday

  10. Dear Judy,
    Thank you for your lovely comments. Yes, its like a movie, only its real. Here in Portugal and Spain there are a lot of festivities... This one is so beautiful and exciting.
    I am posting photos for sunday of the arrival.
    val x x

  11. Dear Val, you live in such a fascinating place. The procession will be wonderful and I'm sure you will have a great day. Looking forward to seeing more photos of this special festival.

  12. It must be a splendid sight to see all the horses and riders and decorated carriages.

  13. Dear Rowan,
    It is indeed.. its a wonderful ocation.
    So many people.
    never dull
    happy sunday

  14. Thanks Patricia,
    It is wonderful, we are never without some kind of happening or festival here.
    happy day

  15. I hope you had a wonderful time at the festival, Val. What a beautiful tradition! I have seen Catholic festivals like this in towns near mine. Sadly, there are no horses and carriages but instead the people walk through the narrow city streets, holding the statues on their shoulders and there is lots of music.

  16. I should have read this post first Val. as you have explained everything there.:) Thank you.


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