"São João de Sobrado" - Portuguese tradition

  • Bugiadas and Mouriscadas (S. João do Sobrado- Valongo) - 24th June

    It consists of the re-creation of the battle between Christians and Muslims.

    There are hundreds of Christians or "Bugios", men, women and children, and they dress in colourful clothes. They are commanded by the " Velho " (the oldman).

    The Muslims or "Mourisqueiros" are twenty single boys commanded by the "Reimoeiro" and function as a military group.

    Early in the morning Sobrado begins to cheer up. Each group gathers together at their leaders' house and they dance the “Dança da Apresentação” (Presentation Dance).

    Pare the corn: Men and women dig around the small corn stem, removing herbs and other smaller stems which are conditioning the corn from growing healthy and big. This job is done three or four time, before the harvest.

    At the end of the morning, the Mourisqueiros invade the church and carry away the image of S. João Baptista, (St. John Baptiste) joining the procession. At the beginning of the afternoon, the Mourisqueiros dance down the road the Dança de Entrada (Entry Dance) escorted by the band, on the way to the Passal (the festivity's yard); the Bugios repeat the same dance afterwards. Each group occupies a definite position at the opposite tops of the Passal, that we call "castelos" (castles).

    watch a video!

    The "armies" rest and meanwhile new ritual scenes take place. The first is" Cobrança dos Direitos" (taxes collecting), the second is "Sementeira e Lavra da Praça " (sowing and ploughing) and finally, the " Dança do Cego" (The blindman dance)

    watch a video!

    In the middle of the afternoon, the two groups are taken to their castles by the band that plays "Marcha de S. João" (St. John’s March). By now each group is launching attacks, sending out emissaries to solve the dispute peacefully, but agreement is not reached, so the battle is inevitable. The Mourisqueiros conquer the Bugios' castle and arrest the "Velho“ (The Oldman).

    São João de Sobrado (Video).

    It is only when the Mourisqueiros' army think that they have won that a miracle takes place. Suddenly, out of nowhere, comes the "Serpe“ (a dragon) to help the Bugios against the Mourisqueiros and free the "Velho" (Oldman). The "Bugiada " finishes with both groups dancing separately the " Dança do Santo "(Dance of the Saint).

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