Easter festival in the Algarve: Sunday, 17th April 2022: Festa das Torchas, Sao Brás de Alportel
Updated: Apr 17, 2022
For anyone looking to soak up a true Algarvian tradition and event over the Easter weekend then we highly recommend visiting Sao Brás de Alportel on Easter Sunday where for free you can watch the Festa das Torchas (Festival of Flower Torches). This festival is one of the most celebrated festivals in São Brás de Alportel and is a vibrant celebration of the Christian belief of the resurrection and attracts hundreds of spectators every year from all over Portugal and abroad. This is a sacred day for all the inhabitants and a feast where religious and pagan beliefs mingle in harmony. The atmosphere is one of joy and celebration: the air is scented by the country flowers, branches of lavender and rosemary and country flowers of the ornately decorated torches carried by the men of the town during the Procession of Flower Torches. Balconies are adorned too along the route of the Procession.
We recommend you get to São Bras early: the streets are open from 9.30 am to allow for the appreciation of the beautiful carpet of fresh flowers all gathered painstakingly from local fields and prepared with great attention by the local women. The carpet of flowers marks the path of the procession and seeing it in its glory is truly not to be missed.
At 10 am the religious celebrations commence with the Eucharist of the Resurrection at Igreja Matriz de São Brás de Alportel (Mother Church of São Brás de Alportel) and then at 11 am the Resurrection Procession with the flower torches starts, commencing from the Church. Men carry beautifully crafted tall “torches” of flowers along a route through the town. Several different groups of men are formed for the procession, each one singing in turn at the top of their lungs a chorus of “Ressuscitou como disse! Aleluia! Aleluia! Aleluia!”, which means “Risen, as he said. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” and this truly does echo through the streets. There is an electric atmosphere and all those in the crowd watching can’t help but join in with the chorus as each group of men pass through.
A crafts show from 3.30 pm with stalls set up by local suppliers selling items, sweets and snacks from the region takes place throughout the afternoon and a highlight of the afternoon is the awards presentation honouring the most creative torches and balcony decorations. Various activities and entertainment are also part of this day of celebration in São Brás de Alportel so if you choose to come and enjoy this wonderful celebration you can certainly make a day of it.