Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Lenten Pilgrims - Sao Miguel - All Over the Island

The religious spirit of the Azorean is made keen by natural catastrophes and the isolation to which they were subjected for centuries, during which visits by ships were few and far between and inter-island relations were very weak, is expressed in forms that testify to the past and to a way of life that still persists.

During the seven weeks of Lent, groups of men walk round São Miguel, led by a "master" and pray next to the churches and chapels dedicated to Our Lady. Eight days after they return to their home villages, there is a festival in which all the inhabitants of the parish take part.

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