• Carlos Capaz

Portuguese traditions: The Festa dos Tabuleiros!

Updated: Jul 27, 2020


Traditional festivities in Tomar, Portugal: festa dos tabuleiros
Traditional festivities in Tomar: festa dos tabuleiros

The Festa dos Tabuleiros occurs every four years (in June or July), in the ancient Templars city of Tomar, which is located in the centre of Portugal, at 90 minutes away from Lisbon.


Procession of Tabuleiros in Tomar, the center of Portugal
Procession of Tabuleiros in Tomar, Portugal

These celebrations origins, (in honour of Espirito Santo "Holy Spirit") remain back to medieval times to the Farmer King D. Dinis (1261 - 1325). The tabuleiros carried by girls in the procession are decorated with Holy Spirit symbols: the pigeon and the crown, and from the top to the bottom, 30 loaves of bread, colorful paper flowers and corn. Each tabuleiro has the same height as the girl who carries it. Houses are decorated for the occasion with quilts and flowers hanging from the verandas. Streets are decorated with paper flowers covering everything and also making tunnels by ceiling the streets with millions of these paper flowers. During the procession there is a shower of flower petals.


Street decoration of the Tabulleiros Festivities in Tomar, Portugal
Festivities of Tabuleiros in the city of Tomar, Portugal

Street decorated for the Tabuleiros Festivities held in Tomar, Portugal
Street decorated for the Tabuleiros Festivities held in Tomar, Portugal

Detail of the Tabuleiros Festivities Procession, in Tomar, Portugal
Detail of the Tabuleiros Festivities Procession, in Tomar, Portugal

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