Festa dos Tabuleiros is an
amazing spectacle which occurs only one every four years in
Tomar, central Portugal. The festa
dates back hundreds of years and is held over a one week period with
many activities and attractions for all ages throughout.
The last festival was held in 2011 and
attracted over 600,000 visitors from around the world, keen to
witness the event.
The Festa begins with an elaborate Street
Decorating Competition in which neighbouring 'ruas' festoon the
entire town with flowers in all shapes and sizes.
Such is the popularity of the event even the
Prime Minister and President of Portugal were present for the
signature parade on the final day of the festa.
The parade, which takes around six hours to
complete it's route through the streets of Tomar, sees over 400
'maidens' and their chaperones, in traditional dress display the
'baskets of bread'.
The bread baskets are specially designed
headdresses which each weight around 15 kilogrammes and must be
balanced on the girls' head for the entire parade.
It is a great honour to be invited to be part
of the parade and pride, matched with determination and practice
ensure the majority of 'girls' complete the parade still carrying
these weighty baskets.