In the feast of São Gonçalinho, every January in Aveiro, strange rituals are performed. The hexagonal mannerist chapel is at the center of it all. People make lines to go up the roof and walk around the tiled cupola at the parapet. From up there, they throw small and very hard sugar frosted biscuits at the ones below. These try their best to catch as many as they can, or else avoid getting hit in the head! Still being a fishing community, many have fish or shrimp nets mounted on a tall pole to catch the greatest bounty.

The festivity lasts for a whole weekend with continuous lines of people forming to go up and attack the ones below, rain or shine (you also get hit while waiting in line). In the end, at an unannounced hour, some men lock themselves in the church and perform a “dance of the crippled”, whereby they pretend to dance with some physical disability. All of this is the apex of politically incorrect and unsafe fun. May it continue for many years.

archived in Uncategorized AveiroChurches & ChapelsRenaissance & MannerismTraditional Festivities
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