This atmospheric event by candlelight is back – and highly recommended. The ‘Mercado de Culturas – à Luz das Velas’ or ‘Cultural Market by Candlelight’ is back in Lagoa until Sunday 10th July and it is well worth a visit if you are in the area.
The market is situated around the pretty Convent São José and the surrounding streets of Lagoa – and it is free to wander around and enjoy the sights and stalls and street entertainment. It’s on from 7pm to 1am each evening until Sunday – so catch it if you can!
The theme this year is ‘Celtic Culture’ and the first thing we bumped into (almost literally!) was Malcolm Macmillan and his Highland bagpipes – and boy they were loud!
There is a programme for the evening, which includes live music on various stages, exhibitions, workshops and entertainment for all the family – here’s the full line-up with timings for you:
The main feature are the candles – all 12,000 of them, all lit by hand and sat nestled in individual glass jars. Lighting starts at 8.30pm each evening, and requires a small army of young volunteers to light the candles. They are mostly arranged into over 50 different and intricate Celtic patterns on the streets and pavements:
Although there are many more lighting the street corners and paths around the market too:
There is a profusion of market stalls – many of which are familiar to anyone that has been to the Silves Medieval Fayre before .. although … quick tip .. the prices here seem a lot more reasonable than at Silves – often for exactly the same products!
There are plenty of artisan crafts on show – with many crafts being demonstrated live as well:
There is plenty to watch:
And lots of fire too!
There is also a great selection of food on offer – another tip – try get there early – about 7 or 7.30 if you want to eat, as it’s much quieter and you’ll be able to find a seat! There are also lots of stalls selling all manner of foods and herbs, seeds and fruit too:
It’s not a huge event, you can walk round it all in under an hour, but you find yourself doubling back down the side streets and re-visiting the stalls again; there are some lovely handmade and original products for sale:
And once it is dark, the streets are transformed with all the candles twinkling and shining, it is quite magical to see:
There are lots of Tarot stalls and ‘mystical’ stalls too
… even if you are not interested in them, they are still fascinating to walk past and watch:
Although some of the stalls are more scary than others!
We’re not sure if he meant to be so intense!
We were fascinated to talk to the dancers who were setting up their Maypole for the evening to dance around … and to discover that it is still called a Maypole in Portuguese, and that they have just adapted the dancing to their local cultural traditional dancing!
It gets busy once it gets dark, with families, locals and tourists all filling the streets with noise and bustle – and watch out for the street entertainers that creep up behind you too!
A final look at the fabulous display in the Convent and then it was time to head home – if you get a chance, do head over to Lagoa this weekend and enjoy the event too!
We hope that you have enjoyed our post about this event – even if you cannot make it yourself! You might also enjoy last year’s post about the event too: