VRSA: Maios once again decorate public spaces in Santa Rita and Manta Rota

on May 1th

The Maios tradition will be fulfilled again in the village of Santa Rita and on Manta Rota beach, in Vila Real da Santo António (VRSA), on May 1st.

In Santa Rita, the initiative is organized by the VRSA City Council, through the Cacela Heritage Research and Information Center (CIIPC), and by the local population, and can be visited throughout the day, on the streets of the village, «allowing revive this ancient festive tradition so characteristic of the region», according to the municipality.

In Manta Rota, the tradition is revived by the association «A Manta» and by Maria Cândida Justo, popularly known as «Candinhas». The Maios exhibition can be seen, from the 1st, on the Dr. Luís Medeiros Antunes road, on the Estrada da Manta Rota (from the pedestrian area and up to the old casino/tourist office) and next to the public bathhouse.

«In the Algarve, in many places, it is customary, on the first day of May, to create Maios or Maias, decorate them and place them on the street. These are dolls and dolls representing people, in real size, filled with straw, rags or crumpled newspapers and dressed in used clothes», describes the VRSA Chamber.

They are made by the populations «with simplicity and improvisation, commonly accompanied by reproductions of animals and objects of common use, staging everyday activities, with related sayings in prose or verse».

«Dolls or living characters such as the Mayans (less frequent) are reminiscent of archaic customs linked to the end of winter and the emergence of spring, signaling the renewal of nature», concludes the municipality.