Enjoying an amazing Terceira tradition Espirit do Santo

Neighbor's home with the three crowns for the Holy Spirit observance.

We were honored to receive an invitiation to our neighbor’s Holy Spirit observance, an annual event at many homes and in every village around the island. Each Pentecost Sunday famliies pray to the Holy Spirit for some favor or help. The week preceding Pentecost the family gathers with extended family, friends, and neighbors, prays the Rosary at the altar in their home, and serves food and wine after the prayers. The sense of family and community is very strong!

On Sunday, everyone meets an an Imperious (little chapels in each village which honor the Holy Spirit, identified by a Dove and a Crown) and are only used one or two times each year, but are maintained very well year round. The family leads a processsion of friends and family to the local church accompanied by a local band. At the church, a Mass is said, the priest blesses the crowns, and the people wear the crown and lead the procession back to the Imperious for a traditional meal of Holy Spirit Soup, alcatra, meats and cabbage, and wine.

This tradition dates back to the 14th century, Terceira is one of the few places in the world where this celebration to the Holy Spirit is held.

Like so many things about living in a different country, I’m learning about the local traditions, cultures, and values. I ask questions, learn from the answers, and most importantly, I have a great time learning:)