With hearts filled with devotion, the residents of the Ribeira, old and young alike work throughout the night until the break of dawn, covering the street floors with colourful “live” carpets made of salt depicting scenes related to fishing, the Romaria and the city.
Hundreds of hands including those of friends and even from eager on-lookers handle more than 30 tons of coloured salt to cover the six streets for “our Lady to walk over”.
At the same time, on the quay, the fishermen adorn their boats with beautiful flower arrangements, garlands and fishing equipment, to carry the floats with the saints out to sea the next day.
Thousands of people witness this “doing-up”, some sing and dance to the sound of the concertinas while others get together to play their drums or just simply sing throughout the night. Let’s not Forget either the mandatory visits to the local tasquinhas (typical bars) scattered throughout the Ribeira.
The Ribeira area of Viana do Castelo awakes to splendour every 20th of August. Thousands of tourists and residents of Viana roam the streets in the morning to admire the most beautiful street carpets in the world. They look on in admiration - true works of art in the form of salt carpets.
In the light of day, colours become vibrant, images come to life and, for all those who worked throughout the night on roughly a thousand meters of carpet that span over six streets, any other beauty is beyond comparison. These carpeted streets are all decked out to receive the blessing of Our Lady of Agonia.