Feast of St John
24 June 2018 | National Holiday day in Faial
IMAGE – various images
We are so lucky – we are here on Faial on the day the island holds its official holiday on 24 June.
The Feast of St John is celebrated annually on 24 June, at the village church devoted to St John.
As in many catholic countries there is a local fiesta associated with the little village patron saint and church every weekend. But here were are around for the biggest party of the year.
This celebration is a two days affair – commencing on Saturday afternoon, through to a midnight bonfire and then on Sunday a traditional church service and procession, followed by more music and dance entertainment.
Late afternoon on Saturday 23rd June we caught a local taxi up from the harbour, inland to where the St John fiesta was being celebrated.
It was a very local affair. Stalls had been set-up along the local adjoining streets – the men were busy serving drinks and the local ladies very busy cooking us local dishes. A whole pig was being roasted over wood coals in a nearby field – wow – this is how the locals party – good, drinks and entertainment!
As we arrived, folk dancers and traditional music filled the small square in front of the tiny traditional church.
A little later, the music changed pace with the islands Dixie Band blasting out some traditional foot-taping favourites.
The next entertainment show was the local children’s dance group – all ages enjoying performing for their families and friends – all very local. Very proud and fun loving participants.
The total population of Faial is approx. 16,000 – by well into the night several thousand locals of all ages crowded into the church square and surrounding streets to party well into the night – it felt like to the whole island was on big night out.
We enjoyed talking with some of the locals – everyone was very open, friendly and interesting to talk with. They are very welcoming to sailors.