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Festival of the Holy Cross



Portugal - Monsanto


From: 2016.05.03 To: 2016.05.03



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Every year on May 3, the village of Monsanto celebrates the Festival of the Holy Cross, also known as the Festival of the Castle, in honor of the local population’s heroic resistance to a siege. According to tradition, the population sought refuge in the castle in the second century B.C., and resisted a siege by the Romans for 7 years. In order to convince the enemy that they would never surrender as a result of hunger, they decided to throw a cow down the mountain slope that they claimed had been fed on leftovers. This strategy fooled the attackers and led them to end the siege. The inhabitants of the village pay tribute as they ascend to the castle, singing and dancing to the sound of tambourines, and then once perched on top of the walls, throw down clay pots symbolizing the cow that ended the seige.

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