Santa Maria Events
As in all the other Azorean islands, one of the most popular events is the Holy Ghost Festivals (Divino Espirito Santo celebration). These festivities date back to the original settlements and were introduced by the Order of Christ and the Franciscan monks in the 14th century. The festivals include a religious ceremony starting with the “crowning” of one or more children with a silver-plated crown adorned with the symbols of the Holy Ghost and culminate with a grand feast on seventh Sunday following Whitsun. On the occasion of these feasts, a traditional soup of bread soaked in a meat broth is distributed freely at the “Imperios” across the island.
Vila do Porto holds the festival of “Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres” and on August 15th the parish celebrates the “Nossa Senhora da Assuncao” (Our Lady of the Assumption) festivities.
“Mare de Agosto”, celebrated in Praia Formosa in the last week of August is the biggest music festival in the Azores. It attracts large crowds of locals and visitors and features national and international world music acts.