Pilgrimage of S. João
Pilgrimage of S. João

And the festival of S. João is coming! The Pilgrimage of S. João is a popular saint, like S. António and S. Pedro. He is also known as matchmaker saint. The festival is celebrated in several Portuguese cities, but the city where the celebration is bigger is in Oporto, where 24 June is holiday. Although S. João Baptista is considered by many the “popular saint” of Invicta, the official  saint of Oporto is Nossa Senhora da Vandoma. On the night of June 23, people come to streets to celebrate and we can find a lot of grilled sardines, bread, caldo verde, peppers and wine! The basil is one of the festival symbols, as well as the colorful plastic hammers and garlic flower, used by people to hit (gently) on the heads of others. Hot air balloons made of paper are other attractions that illuminate the skies on the night of St. John. The Sanjoaninas waterfalls, a kind of animated nativity scene, made with sculptures that exemplify the arts, crafts and architecture of Oporto are another feature of the city’s party in honor of S. João. The festival focuses on the historic area of ​​Oporto, with thousands of people walking through […]

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Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika – God Bless Africa

“TRIBAL TANK” IN AFRICA Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika – God Bless Africa – The oldest specimen of Australopithecus africanus (our closest species), together with many other hominids was found in south Africa (Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site) and dates 2.6 million years, reviving a quote from Nelson Mandela “… we are all Africans”. This makes of South Africa the birth of humankind. Ranked as the 28th world economy, and the 1st of Africa, it is the 25th biggest country in the world and 13 times bigger than Portugal. South Africa is a multicultural country, home to 52 millions of inhabitants and still considered a “rainbow” nation due to the deeply divisive policy of the apartheid. Broadly speaking and using local population statistical data approximately 79% of people are black, 9% are white descendants of Dutch, Germans and English, 3% are Asian, and 9% are “coloured” (the apartheid term for those of mixed descent). Beyond these are smaller but no less significant groups, descendants of Lebanese, Italian, Portuguese, Hungarian, and Greek settlers, as well as the estimated 130,000 strong Jewish community. In an attempt to recognise the cultural diversity of South Africa, the government recognised officially 11 languages, which makes the life of any public […]

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