Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Santo Aleixo da Restauração village, Alentejo - The Tomina Festivities - The handing out of the religious guidons - The 27th of August 2016


We then headed towards the Church street so as to follow the whole ritual of the handing out of the religious guidons. As I was waiting for the ceremony to start I walked into the 17th century Church, which was restored several times over the years and is now considered a Monument of patrimonial importance.

The various guidon holders have to walk back and forth along the street running from the Churchyard stairs to the crossroads at the end of that same street. The ritual implies a specific sequencing in which they are preceded by a drum and flute player, the priest and the brass band players, though these just make their way up the stairs to the entrance of the church when the last guidon has been handed out, which is Santo António's, the patron Saint, whose statue is finally carried into the church.

For an outsider this ritual may sound rather repetitive taking into account the number of times they have to go back and forth but the truth is that for the locals preserving the traditions is of extreme importance.

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