Graciosa, despite being a small island, is strongly linked to its traditions, which are clearly reflected in its festivals, religious events and popular animation.

As such, in what concerns the festive nature of this island, a series of religious festivals occur on it from the celebrations of the patrons of the parishes and the cult of the Holy Spirit, to the feast of Senhor Santo Cristo of Graciosa which has a great impact on the festive calendar of this island. The Holy Spirit festivities, like the other islands, take place between the months of May and September and are characterised by their processions, coronations and processions and also by the bodos de leite, very common on the island of Terceira. The festival of Senhor Santo Cristo, in turn, takes place in the second week of August and is the one that reaches a large dimension on this island, combining the religious and more solemn aspect with the more profane, characterized by popular entertainment, musical shows and folklore groups and philharmonic bands, where the gracian culture is also valued.

Feast of the Holy Spirit, Graciosa
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Graciosa
Senhor Santo Cristo of Graciosa
Procession of the Senhor Santo Cristo of Graciosa
Feast of Senhor Santo Cristo, Misericórdia Square, Santa Cruz da Graciosa, 20th century


In accompanying all these commemorations, we cannot forget the essence of the festivals that animate the people, which beyond the music, be it played by Philharmonic Bands, or other groups, are also composed of other activities and events such as bullfights, regional dance shows such as folklore groups, parades, amongst other animations that bring colour and joy to the festivities.

Bull-fighting at the feasts of Senhor Santo Cristo, Graciosa
Bullfight in Graciosa Square, with the riders, Raúl and João Carlos Pamplona, 1965
Dances in the space belonging to the Santa Cruz Sport Club of Graciosa, 1930s
Foliões (merrymakers) of the island of Graciosa, 20th century


The Carnival of Graciosa is another event of popular animation, inserted in the cultural context of the island, which stands out for its famous Ballroom Dances, where all are invited to participate, from the youngest to the oldest, dressed up and having fun to the sound of carnival music.

NOTE: Photos taken from the official Facebook page “History of the Azores”.

Carnival dances of Graciosa
Women at the window, Ribeirinha parish, Graciosa, 20th century
Village of Santa Cruz da Graciosa, 1950
Construction of a boat, Santa Cruz da Graciosa, 1940s
Rural scene in Ribeirinha parish, 20th century
Cart pulled by a dog, loaded with a child, Santa Cruz da Graciosa, XX century
Embroiderers of the parish of Fontes, Graciosa, 50’s
Published on 19 February, 2021