WHAT: FESTA DOS TABULEIROS – FEAST OF THE BOARD / FESTIVAL OF THE TRAYS WHERE: TOMAR, PORTUGAL WHEN: SATURDAY 29TH JUNE TO MONDAY 8TH JULY 2019 COST: FREE
Spectacular, unique and only held every four years the Festa dos Tabuleiros is a city-wide celebration.
Dating back to the 14th century, during the cult of the Holy Spirit, it reveals the origins of the old harvest feast in bread, wheatears, and flowers on trays that are still the prominent part of the festival today.
The city of Tomar becomes covered in colour, street decorations, and window displays before the festival. In accordance with tradition, there is also a bullfight held on the night before the celebration begins. The parade is held in front of the beautiful Sao Joao Church and is the most important celebration in the city and attracts people from all over the world.
Announcing the beginning of the procession there are pipers and fireworks, led by banners of the Holy Spirit and the several parishes in the area. Parading in pairs are the young girls and boys of the city dressed in white wearing a brightly coloured sash. On the heads of the girls are the tubuleiros; a head-dress tray made up of 30 pieces of stacked bread in either 5 or 6 rows and beautifully decorated with flowers, greenery, and wheat sheaves. At the top is either a crown with the cross of Christ or the dove of the holy ghost. At the rear of the parade, the symbolic white oxen pull along cartloads of bread, wine, and meat that has been blessed by the priest to be handed out to the locals.
The days following the main celebration are not to be missed, with music and dancing in the flower-filled streets, traditional games played and of course plenty of fireworks from dawn till dusk.
Team PassFire arrived in Spain (Valencia) in time for the Las Fallas Festival. Whilst this is widely attended by Pyro Freaks from around the World including a group of British Pro-firers and enthusiasts over there on a mission, there are also tens of thousands of firework lovers all there to see the spectacle for themselves.
The Las Fallas Festival is what can only be described as utter madness with fireworks! The beautiful City of Valencia plays host to this event which has been celebrated since some point in the Middle Ages (11th to 15th century) and was thought to have been created by the artisans who disposed of broken art works and any off cuts or unusable pieces of wood and other combustible materials and made them into dressed figures and set them alight to welcome the Spring Equinox.
The event essentially is 5 days and nights of partying and includes along with the plethora of fireworks and bonfires a great many religious, comedic and historical Ninots (puppets or dolls). The types of ninots are usually determined as a ‘theme’ and they are absolutely spectacular.
The main event ‘La Mascaleta’ is a barrage of fireworks and firecrackers which are fired at 2:00pm daily and the best of these is then selected to provide the finale ‘mascaleta of the fiesta’.
The origin of the word ‘Mascaleta’ is from the latin for masculine (not unsurprising with big boys toys!) and Fallas is derived from the latin for torch so essentially Las Fallas Mascaleta translates as The Torch Man!!
Whilst in Spain, Jesse and the #Passfire team ran into a little bit of trouble… Here’s a short extract of an email from Jesse Veverka…
“On a final note, you might have also heard that we successfully chased down a few bag thieves in Spain who tried to rob our camera equipment. It’s a true story. We got the bags back and even handed one of the thieves over to the cops. What can I say, the production must always go on!”
Portugal welcomes in the New Year in style with one of the biggest street parties of the year. Events take place throughout the country but amongst the most spectacular celebrations are those that take place in Lisbon close to the waterfront and at Belem.
New Year revellers toast the arrival of a New Year with a packed programme of street entertainment, including live music and a fantastic fireworks display, which illuminates the night sky on the stroke of midnight helping you to celebrate the New Year in an explosive style.