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> São João de Braga (download)

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The festival of S. João Baptista is celebrated throughout Portugal and with particular joy in Braga.

Between 18th and 26th June, Braga changes its appearance with great evidence, demonstrated all over with people's happiness. There is traditional music, artistic street decorations, and great firework sessions. Groups of "Zé Pereiras" and percussion, drums, bagpipes and with the various musical festival expressions, provide a new color to the city.

Every year, the city celebrates the parade of "International Gigantones e Cabeçudos", joined by the various musical groups of schools in Braga.

The night of S. João is celebrated with open tent parties; folk dancing, fire jumps, and an enormous parade of various "Sanjoaninas" Groups.

On the morning of June 24th, the Catholic Church celebrates the birth of the Saint Percussor, who preached the practice of penitence in order to "level the way of the Lord." This was the prophet who baptized Jesus in the waters of the Jordan River. This representation can be seen daily at the Ponte (Bridge) of S. João during the festival.

On this day, throughout the streets of the historical center of Braga, parades "King David"; curious Festive Procession with the "Car of Grasses or Herbs", the "Car of King David", whereby takes place a live medieval representation of Palace Dancing, and then the "Car of the Shepherds", wherein children of the city kiss the hand of St. John and sing to his birth.

During the afternoon, throughout the streets passes the great procession of Popular Saints, Angels accompanied by a musical band.

Parade through the streets the folk dancers; at the band stands, Bands play music, while crowds watch the various shows with great jubilation whilst waiting for the enormous fireworks session to be held at the close of the festivities.

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