Photos & Videos: Portuguese Holy Spirit Festival

June 30, 2018 | 2 Comments

[Updated with videos] The 23rd annual Portuguese Festival of the Holy Spirit got underway tonight [June 30] in St. George’s, with people from around the island coming to attend the festivities.

Organisers previously said there would be performances by “Amelia Pontes, Jessica Frias, Michelle Tavares, The Travelers and Carlos Janeiro. Also performing are Folcolore from Vasco da Gama and Marcha from Casa do Acores.

“All are welcome, come and enjoy a bit of Portuguese and Bermudian heritage – great food and fun for all.”


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Portuguese food and refreshments were on sale including octopus stew, favas, bifana [pork on a bun], chourico on a bun, fish, hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, malasaddas [Portuguese donuts], massa [egg bread], various Portuguese cookies and more.

The Festival Of The Holy Spirit started centuries ago in the Azores, and is still celebrated today by Portuguese citizens and descendants worldwide. According to various reports, the festival stems from a legend which says that during the reign of Portugal’s Queen Isabela centuries ago a drought plagued the country. Against her husband’s wishes, the Queen hid food in her apron, with an aim to sneak out and feed the poor.

Her husband once asked her to open her apron, and Queen Isabela prayed to the Holy Spirit before opening her apron for his inspection. When she opened it, roses are said to have tumbled out instead of the food, a miracle which sparked the Festival of the Holy Spirit.

The weekend celebration began tonight with entertainment and will continue tomorrow at 2.00pm with a procession to the St George’s Catholic Church Stella Maris for a mass before heading back to the Square for a night of social fun and celebration starting at 5.00pm.

The festival was originally started in Bermuda by Eugene Lima and his father Frank Lima, and today with the help of a committee of hard working devoted volunteers, the tradition continues. Funds raised through the event are donated to local charities and families that may be struggling financially.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Hummmm says:

    Everybody else was watching the game

  2. Jeffrey Madruga says:

    Congratulations on another beautiful Festa do Espírito Santo, all around. But while I’m completely sincere in my congratulations I still have to ask: When are we Luso-connected devotees to these beautiful Festas going to either stop propagating the severely inadequate folk myths of it’s origin? And also finally publish a fully scholastic and academic research paper on the subject and times?! Stories of mysterious miracles of bread-into-roses are fine, but were first assigned to Queen Saint Isabel’s great aunt and patron saint Queen Saint Elizabeth of Thuringia. Other oft-published stories (such as three mysterious crewless ships, laden with food, miraculously showing up in a Portuguese port to end a famine after Queen [and later Saint] Isabel “offered” her jeweled crown to the Church) offer serious “sizzle” but almost zero “steak”, especially for thinking adults. IMHO we cheapen the serious, revolutionary, and quite lovely message and legacy of ALL the Festas do Espírito Santo celebrations by offering such purposefully weak historical analysis. We can, and should, do much better.

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