Campinos – The cattle handlers

Portugal has avery strong and known bullfighting tradition, not exactly like spain, but we have our own bullfighting shows and this tradition is still very much alive in certain regions, as Ribatejo.

The street where the bulls are setting loose (largadas) are filled with sand just for the May Fair

As of May portugal cities and small villages get a new life, the traditional fairs bring people from all over the country and some expats as well, to see their hometown tradition.

Creative “Tertulias” This one was created for youngsters

I grew up attending bullfights, for me, more than cultural is something that I am familiar with, as part of my childhood memories,therefore, all the animal rights activists, I truly respect you, but this post is not for you.

Another balcony decorated

There are many cities, villages with strong bullfight traditions, Azambuja is one of them and this was my first time here.

A campino dressed with typical costume

Brave ones, jumping into the “arena” while the bull is not around

The centenary May Fair in Azambuja is a 5 days “Festa Brava” that happen every year on May’s last weekend. These 5 days – May Fair is integrated on the the Bullfighting Culture Month and is the most emblematic event of Azambuja Municipality.

People waiting for the bull

May Fair shows the still very strong connections to the tauromachian culture on this region.

There it is! There are always brave /reckless people trying to jump in front of the bull

This fair offers a wide range of events as: setting bulls loose on Azambuja City Center (Largadas), the grilled sardines on Friday, the typical gastronomy, the handicraft fair and the most known and, in my opinion great event: the “Tertulias” – literary assemblies where Azambuja inhabitants gather on a private home or rented space to eat, drink, socialise and party. People from other “Tertulias” often swing by to have chats, drink and eat as part of the local tradition.

Setting the table at my Friend’s Tertulia, over 20 people to dinner

An open “Tertulia” where visitors can get in and buy drinks and food. Tertulias can be private or open.

There are other important events in May as the flamenco mass, the traditional bullfight (no death bulls)

These animals aren’t small nor friendly!

From the many delicious traditional gastronomy there is one that I fell head over heels with it, the Torricado.

Torricado…. drooling

Nothing fancy, it consists in pieces of bread toasted over charcoal, soaked in olive oil and brushed with garlic. As simple things in life can be so delicious…

Torricado – The making of part 1

The secret, the ancients say that the bread has to be two days old. Impressive is the story behind the Torricado. Ribatejo used to be one of the poorest regions in Portugal to the extent that upto 1974 the majority of the households didn’t have a simple dining table nor chairs.

Torricado – The making of – Part 2 brushing the toasted bread with a garlic clove (are your drooling? cause I am!)

Legend says that Torricado (I still drool just to remember it) was created by the rural workers that found on this way to eat bread a practical and cheap way of making their own lunches while working in the fields. *
*Besides talking with locals I’ve also researched on Wikipedia.

The windows and balconies are decorated for Feira de Maio – May Fair


Would like to thank my host:  my dear friend and her lovely family. 🙂 ❤