Every year at the beginning of May the people of Estoi celebrate a very special festival – Festa da Pinha. The participants, who traditionally dress in black trousers, white shirts and red neckerchiefs, get together at the racecourse in Estoi, whilst horsemen, horse-drawn carriages, tractors and lorries, are all beautifully decorated with flowers. At the end of the day the best decorations in each of these categories will win a prize. The spectacular procession starts at around 9:30 with the crowds chanting […]

“Viva a Pinha”

[…] and passes the parish church, where a large crowd already awaits them, and the bells ring out as they pass.  The next stop is Santa Barbara de Nexe, and from there the procession continues its way in the direction of Almancil to Ludo near the Laranjal golf course. There a huge barbecue takes place for hours, before the cavalcade returns in the evening to Estoi. On the way back the procession tends to be less well organized, so that the time table can get delayed.  Meanwhile back in Estoi young and old alike party in front of the church beginning in the early hours of the evening. A huge crowd of spectators line the main road, expecting the arrival of the torchlight procession shortly before midnight.

An ancient legend tells that in very remote times, a small group of muleteers of Estoi, when in their commercial tasks during the dangerous crossing from the Algarve mountains, stopped to rest the mules loaded with goods, was attacked by a huge pack of hungry wolves. Terrified of the disproportion of forces and about to be all killed by the wolves, the afflicted muleteers had a vision of Senhora do Pé da Cruz (the Pietá), which the Catholic Church celebrated that day and invoked her protection. Immediately, they gained new strength, invested like giants against enraged wolves and how by a miracle they managed to put their stampeding animals. Returning to the village, still a dark night, illuminated by the light of torches, cheered their joy and went on a pilgrimage to the Church of Pé da Cruz where they thanked their protector. They took the Senhora do Pé da Cruz as their Patroness, joined her Confraternity and promised that they would no longer let it fall into the forgetting the miracle of their salvation, becoming them, who from then on, organized annually in Estoi, the celebration of homage to the “Lady of the Foot of the Cross”, which became the most beloved of the people of Estoi.

Regional Blog for the Festa da Pinha: https://festadapinha.blogspot.com/

Sapientia UAlg - PDF - The Origin of Estoi festivities: https://sapientia.ualg.pt/bitstream/10400.1/6748/9/ANEXO%20J%20-%20Lenda%20da%20Festa%20da%20Pinha.pdf

Image Source: sulInformação.pt