In Obidos, Portugal, an annual event brings the community together through the celebration of history, good times and charity.
Over the course of the past week, I have had the pleasure of exploring the beautiful country of Portugal. From the vast beaches to the incredible countryside to the upbeat city of Lisbon, there is so much to do and experience. As my family and I ventured through the country, we came across one particular event that seemed to be getting a lot of attention.
In the old countryside town of Obidos stands a beautiful medieval castle that has been restored and maintained over the years. As you enter the castle, as in many medieval-themed towns and cities throughout Europe, there are plenty of people dressed up for the occasion as well as vendors and artisans selling their handmade foods and goods.
Although this may seem like many other festivals and markets around the world, this one was unique because of the charitable aspect that tied into it. As you enter the market, you pay a small fee depending on the experience you wish to have, which can include things like walking around the castle, seeing parades, watching reenactments of battles and having an authentic medieval meal. Most things are very reasonably priced and the people are very friendly; many of them get into the spirit and dress up as well!
When my family and I were dining, we spoke to some of the vendors and realized that the majority of the people working at the festival were volunteers. Each food stand, for example, had a particular charity in Portugal that they were raising money for, and all the proceeds would go towards that charity of their choosing. Although not all of the vendors were volunteers, many of them were.
Thus, the fun and entertaining experience was not only for good times and a lesson in the country’s history, but was also for helping out a good cause! It was wonderful to see how people came together and used an event such as this to do some good for the community. The festival ends on August 2; however, it is an annual event that lasts for a few weeks, from July through early August.
To learn more about this event and the different charities that it benefits, visit their website.
– Alexandrea Jacinto
Sources: Obidos Mercado Medieval
Photo: Wikimedia Commons