The traditional heritage parade of the Romaria d’Agonia is a true living museum, with more than 3,000 participants who, with the aid of more than one hundred scenes and dozens of allegorical floats portray the best that Viana do Castelo has to offer. History and ethnography are united to maintain the local traditions alive.
One of the themes originating in 1908, then called the “Farming parade”, today still serves the same purpose: this is a time when all villagers of the region showcase their best in the city, while thousands of onlookers gather round and fill up every available spot on the streets of the city to admire the parade as it passes by.
The colours of the costumes, the shine and dazzle of the gold, the pride of the young women, the creativity of the floats and the variety in the themes presented, accompanied by music from the folklore groups and from the groups of drums and Zés P’reiras who challenge each other to see who can play louder, recreate the true character and flavour of a typical festival of the Minho area.
Several are the moments when spectators are invited to take part in the parade, such as the habitual disputes for a bowl of wine or a piece of corn bread, which are served as the parade slowly crawls along and still the cheeky requests from the public for the bride and groom to kiss, shouting “beijinho” as they stroll by.