A Cultural market lit with candles

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!

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

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!

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

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.

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

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.

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

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!

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

The dried fruit and nuts were piled high and the ornaments and jewellery sparkled in the candlelit night:

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

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!)

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

You could even buy some Viagra Licor!

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

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:

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

The chapel of the convent was also open, and simply lit with a row of candles on each side of the aisle – very stunning:

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

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:

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

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!

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

I was easily led into buying some jewellery – such a great selection at a good price!

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

And Ahmed the stall-holder was happy to pose for the camera too:

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

After he had adjusted his turban to fit just perfectly:

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

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:

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

It also held another suprise – an art exhibition of Jewish art

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

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:

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

And has some great portraits too:

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

Alongside these quirky and fun 3D characters:

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

And then it was back outside again to explore more stalls and items for sale

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

And even more candles to admire:

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

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!

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

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5 Responses to A Cultural market lit with candles

  1. Maryanne Sea says:

    Wonderfully written and beautifully photographed! With every post, the Algarve is so alive!
    Obrigada, Alyson and Dave.

  2. Margaret Runciman says:

    Thank you another very interesting post – wish I had been there to see it for myself . As always there were superb photographs to enjoy too .

    Ayr, Scotland

    >

  3. Pingback: The Candlelit market returns to Lagoa | Algarve Blog

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