The traditional and characteristic Festivals of the Holy Ghost, which are of medieval origin, are held in almost every parish in Faial from spring until the end of August. They feature colorful ceremonies and the celebrated “festas” at which you can taste such mouth-watering dishes as the sopas do Espirito Santo, roast meat, massa sovada, and the rice dessert called arroz doce.
The St. John’s festivals on the 24th of June attract pilgrims from all over the island to the leafy park of Largo Jaime Melo. Here the sound of live music featuring string instruments fills the air, picnics are laid out across the park, there is dancing and good times are enjoyed by all.
“Semana do Mar” (Sea Week)
The Horta port is full of dozens of sailing ships with their colourful sails and flags. The town is dominated by the upbeat music of bands and groups of string instruments, the songs and dances of folk music groups, the animation of a charity sale, the delicious aroma of the tasty morsels served at stands, art and handicraft exhibitions, dancing and conviviality. But the festival is dedicated to the sea and on its waters a regatta is held in the Faial-Pico channel. In addition there are sailing, windsurfing, swimming and fishing competitions; not to mention aquatic games for youngsters. Every year, from the first to the second Sunday in August it serves as an affirmation of Horta’s vocation as a cosmopolitan meeting town that lives from and for the sea.
The Festivals of the Patron Saints
Each village has its own saint to which it is particularly devoted. Every year, typically in the summer months, the image of the saint is carried in procession.