On Sunday night we managed to make it to the last night of the Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas in Lagoa. This year’s theme was the Jewish Sephardic culture and the advertising claimed that 10,000 candles were going to be used to light the streets – something not to be missed!
We apologise to our readers that would have liked to have visited this event – usually we try to visit and blog about an event at the start of the programme so that you have time to plan a visit, but we have been so busy this year that the last night was the only night we could make it … but there’s always next year, as this is an annual event in Lagoa – and there are many other similar craft fairs, markets and events planned across the Algarve this summer – the Algarve Resident newspaper usually has a good list of events!
Lagoa is a pretty place at night – this beautiful stone bird statue reflected in the waters greeted us as we arrived and parked up – and then we just followed the crowds down to the entrance to the market outside the Convento de S. José.
The lights were indeed impressive and must have taken a small army of volunteers to light them all – most were displayed to show a particular Jewish symbol, complete with information card and design.
The convent itself was also well used, as a backdrop to all the market stalls and traders and live music – and even hosted an art exhibition inside!
The dried fruit and nuts were piled high and the ornaments and jewellery sparkled in the candlelit night:
It felt a bit like a mini version of the stalls and produce for sale at the Silves Medieval Fair (which this year runs from the 7th – 16th August – don’t miss it!)
You could even buy some Viagra Licor!
The traders are always friendly at this kind of event, there is a nice family-friendly and bustly atmosphere with lots to see and enjoy:
The chapel of the convent was also open, and simply lit with a row of candles on each side of the aisle – very stunning:
But the real colour and lights came from one of the market stalls selling the bright and intoxicating glass lights that sparkle and shimmer in the night:
A real contrast to the pared-down and simple white lights of the displays all around the streets – you have to watch where you are walking, they are on the ground all around you!
I was easily led into buying some jewellery – such a great selection at a good price!
And Ahmed the stall-holder was happy to pose for the camera too:
After he had adjusted his turban to fit just perfectly:
The Convento de S. José in Lagoa is a magical building which we have previously blogged about here – do go and have a look round if you get the chance! It has beautiful architecture and light – and such a calm atmosphere – even on a busy night:
It also held another suprise – an art exhibition of Jewish art
The artist Ana Almeida (click here for her Ana Almeida website) is Portuguese and has a delightful mixture of bold geometric, abstract and creative, and fun work:
And has some great portraits too:
Alongside these quirky and fun 3D characters:
And then it was back outside again to explore more stalls and items for sale
And even more candles to admire:
We’ll leave the last bright lights to the lanterns again – and say congratulations to Lagoa Council for a well-organised, bright and fun event. Here’s to next year!