Thursday, 27 October 2011

Spectacular spectacle in Tomar, Portugal.

The Festa dos Tabuleiros is an amazing spectacle which occurs once every four years in Tomar, central Portugal. The festa dates back hundreds of years and is held over a one week period with many activities and attractions for all ages.


Prior to 2011, the last festival was held in 2007 and attracted over 600,000 visitors from around the world, keen to witness the event.

The Festa begins with an elaborate Street Decorating Competition in which neighbouring 'ruas' festoon the entire town with flowers in all shapes and sizes.

Such is the popularity of the event even the Prime Minister and President of Portugal are present for the signature parade on the final day of the festa.

The parade, which takes around six hours to complete it's route through the streets of Tomar, sees over 400 'maidens' and their chaperones, in traditional dress display the 'baskets of bread'.

The bread baskets are specially designed headdresses which each weigh around 15 kilo grammes and must be balanced on the girls' head for the entire parade.

It is a great honour to be invited to be part of the parade and pride, matched with determination and practice ensure the majority of 'girls' complete the parade still carrying these weighty baskets.

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