Faial, the blue island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean has about 15.000 inhabitants. You think life is boring if you are living in a small community in an isolated place? Well, then you are wrong. Spring and summer are the time of festivals and festivities on Faial. In normal times, beginning after Easter, there are in each village of the island on every weekend the traditional festivities of the Holy Spirit. These celebrations are religious, but as important as the spirituality are the accompanying festivities which last until late in the night. In August, Faial hosts the traditional Sea Week, the Semana do Mar, one week of concerts, events and parties on the seafront of Horta. Like last year, also this year the Semana do Mar had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.
But how is it during the pandemic? Even though Faial has been spared from any major outbreak of COVID, restrictions are in place on public gatherings. Does this mean that life has stopped? Of course not, culture in the middle of the Atlantic did not come to a halt. Respecting the rules of distancing, just these days there are two examples of cultural activities, perfectly reflecting the rich and diverse cultural life of our island.
Last weekend the band Banda À Moda Antiga toured the island in a rather unique way. The guys were packing their equipment on a huge dumper truck, took some supplies with them and toured the villages of the island. Wherever they stopped, spontaneous small dance parties were held. Somewhat compensating for the festivities of the Holy Spirit which had to be cancelled this year. Feel the vibe of Faial, watch the video by Renato Capaz and check out the Banda À Moda Antiga
Starting this weekend and continuing on two more weekends in July, in the city of Horta, or to be more precise in the harbour and the bay of Porto Pim, the festival Maravilha will bring music, dance and performances in a safe environment to the island.
It is not the Semana do Mar, but Faial in the middle of the Atlantic is not without culture, even in times of the pandemic. Check out the site of the Festival Maravilha for more information.