Romaria de Nª Srª da Agonia
Viana do Castelo
If it is true that in May, the Festival of Roses in Vila Franca do Lima, starts the cycle of religious festivals, it is undoubtedly in August that this tradition reaches its peak with the magnificent Pilgrimage of Our Lady of Agony.
The procession to the sea through the Ribeira streets, embellished with flower carpets evidences the deep religious devotion. Ethnography has its space in the Ethnographic Parade allowing you to admire the beautiful traditional wedding dress, as well as those of the Mordomas and Lavradeiras (Country women) carrying authentic works of art in gold.
The party goes on ... concertina and drums play, country women dance... The great fireworks serenade lights the city, starting from the Gustave Eiffel bridge, through the Castle of Santiago da Barra, and through the Santa Luzia Basílica . The city inhabitants embrace all those who visit them in August.
The Pilgrimage d'Agonia is linked to the history of its church. The church worshipping the fishermen’s patron dates back from 1674. By that time, a chapel was built to honour Bom Jesus of the Holy Sepulcher, just above a little chapel devoted to Our Lady.
Today, the Saint’s name is associated to the queen of festivals and to the many traditions of one the most popular religious festivals of Portugal: a pilgrimage in honour of Our Lady of Agony, started in 1772 by seamen coming from Galicia and from the entire Portuguese coast for religious and pagan celebrations, which are still repeated every year during the week of 20th August, municipal holiday.
The Romaria d’Agonia was awarded in 2013 the Declaration National Tourist Interest.