Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres festivities are held every year on São Miguel island, in Ponta Delgada municipality, on the fifth week after Easter. They are held in honour of the image of Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres and are a mixture of religious and profane celebrations.
The second-largest religious celebration in the country after the pilgrimages to Fátima gathers a huge crowd in Ponta Delgada that is composed of thousands of pilgrims from the islands, from the mainland, from emigrant communities (mainly from the United States of America and Canada), among many other visitors. The São Francisco Square is thus full of people who live intensely the Festas do Senhor (the name given to the festivities by the local population).)
The famous food and drink stalls right next to the São Brás Fort on Kopke Avenue are the places where family and friends get together to enjoy some typical Azorean gastronomy.
Campo, Lar e Mar Fair brings together several companies and exhibitions that attract thousands of visitors. The various stands with sugar sweets, lollies and popcorn are a delight for many, while the younger ones are captivated by the balloons with their favourite cartoons and figures.
The amusement park behind the São Brás Fort fills the eyes of the younger ones, who get excited by the famous bumper cars.
Several people leave their homes on foot towards Esperança Convent, the so-called Caminhadas do Santo Cristo, and others spend the night from Saturday to Sunday in the church.
The Roda, right next to the convent, is filled with people who give bonuses in exchange for souvenirs from Senhor Santo Cristo. Often letters addressed to the Lord and Mother Teresa are also left on the wheel, letters reporting serious situations and illnesses for which they ask for help and healing.
The Santo Cristo dos Milagres festivities bazaar is also one of the elements of the feast that everyone likes to participate in. Several people buy raffle tickets in search of a random prize. Often they return the prize to keep for the next edition, as a sign of gratitude and offering to the Lord.
The walkway around the São Francisco Square is the place where thousands of promises are kept by pilgrims. They walk around the field barefoot or on their knees, usually accompanied by their tapers and rosaries.
These are some of the events that are most reminiscent of the Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres festivities. This year, for the second consecutive time, the festivities could not be held in person. The hope remains that we will be able to get together next year.