Three Wise Men arrive in Olhão

We’d spotted a few days ago in the Algarve guide that the Magi were arriving today, but as this was an Olhanense event it was typically vague on exactly where and when they would arrive. We were therefore delighted when we stumbled across them on our morning stroll to the market.

They had only recently arrived and were surrounded by local children, of whom some were participating in the dancing and singing. The choice of location, a gravel car park, for the arrival, was probably for practical reasons than any historical or cultural significance. However it felt rather appropriate to be standing in a very ordinary and drab location dressed in our every day clothes whilst the wise men from the East supported by their entourage entertained us with their music, brightly coloured clothes and dancing.

After a while the juggling and dancing came to end, and it became apparent a story was being told. Not a story from Epiphany that we recognised though. One of the men began making a loud proclamation which the Roman soldiers were most unhappy about. He was chased, captured and after an intervention by the Magi a fight took place between him and the Roman commander. As you will hear from the video it was very clear on whose side the children were!

Unfortunately though the children were on the losing side. At least I think they were as I am pretty sure the Roman cut off one of the man’s legs, but the combination of mime and Portuguese was too complex for me to be absolutely certain what was happening. Does anyone know what was actually going on?

The children of course were loving this ‘tradição da Epifania’, and their joy was catching. I think this is probably the most fun I have ever had at Epiphany, it certainly beats taking the Christmas decorations down! Since returning to the apartment to prepare this post I have discovered that the Magi will be here all day. So there will be another post later today or more likely tomorrow as we are off out now to find them again and hopefully join in this afternoon’s events. But before I go here are a few more pictures from this morning.

Author: BeckyB

It had been a good life walking, cooking, photographing, volunteering, blogging, and best of all spending time with MrB, family, & friends. Sadly it no longer is. Suddenly and unexpectedly I have become a widow.

22 thoughts

  1. I love that traditions such as these are still given importance and that effort is put in to make them a proper spectacle. It definitely helps to have a good looking cast and live animals too!

    1. Certainly does……some of the cast we’ve spotted are regulars on the street theatre scene here in the Algarve which explains why they were so brilliant.

  2. What good-looking kings! 🙂 We got it all wrong this year (Mick’s fault 🙂 ) but we’ve seen some beautiful crib scenes. We’ll try harder next year (or rely on you and Robert 🙂 )

    1. I know they were gorgeous, it was the camels I really liked though!
      Oh I’m sorry to hear though that your kings were disappointing in Santo António, especially as they’d travelled from Spain. Maybe next year we can all go to Seville, Mick might be up for it then!!

  3. I wondered what the Portuguese got up to. Here in the Sierra it is ‘big’ with timings for processions but it is also very local and for the locals and their good to see the locals of Olhao enjoying their own wise men!

    1. I’ve been reading up on the Spanish events and they sound marvellous. I think it is a wonderful festival.

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