Monday, August 4, 2008

Portuguese Celebration

This weekend was the Saint Anthony's Celebration in Hanford. For everyone like me (non-Greenhorns) who have no idea what this are really missing out.

In the Portuguese community, each year there are a series of celebrations to honor important Saints in the Catholic faith for their contributions and lessons. Each celebration is hosted by a different town and it is a massive undertaking and an amazing result. Celebrations include activities over several days.

Each Saint is represented by a beautiful statue that travels to each celebration.

This saturday included some daytime activities and a dance in the evening with Portuguese music and dancing (I am getting quite good at this I think).
On Sunday, there was a massive parade that incuded bands, queens (in beautiful gowns and capes) junior queens, senior queens, attendants, the Saints, and a mass representation of flags of all kinds (American Flags, Portuguese Flags, etc). The Parade marks the route to the church where there a traditional mass was held in the beautiful Portuguese language. The lesson of the Saint was conveyed there along with beautiful singing and lots of tradition. Mass concluded with the Parade leading the way back to the hall (or community area) where a massive lunch was served (free to anyone who came)...linguica for all....mmmmmm.

Sunday was finished with a second dance (where we proceeded to be out until 1am again) where Joe Belo's band completely rocked the house with an awesome combination of traditional portuguese and some rocking American hits. (I just have to add that we absolutely adore these guys. They are great friends and really fantastic musicians. Thanks Guys!!!)

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