The IHC at the Festival of the Trays in Tomar

Jul 18, 2019 | News

In the first weekend off July, in the framework of the partnership between the IHC and the Municipality of Tomar, the IHC researchers Paula Godinho and Maria Alice Samara, and fellow André Camponês, made a “field trip” to the Festival of the Trays in Tomar.
This visit was part of the ongoing research project on the history, ethnography and heritage of the Festival of the Trays, whose main objective is to register this festivity in the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage. We talked to Maria Alice Samara, who tells us about the celebration: “Walking through the streets of the city of Tomar, we observed the painstaking and creative work that transformed them into a dazzling, multi-handed scenario with the involvement of neighbours and the community.”
In addition, the team visited the exhibition A Festa, o Saber e o Gesto… De 1884 aos dias de hoje (hosted by the Centro de Estudos em Fotografia de Tomar), attended the Cortejo do Mordomo, the Cortejo Parcial dos Tabuleiros, and the Cortejo dos Tabuleiros [the Tray Parade]. About the latter, Maria Alice highlights: “Among several memorable moments of rare beauty, I remember the simultaneous lifting of all the trays, after the blessing, in the Republic Square. At the sound of bells, and after the indications of the mordoma, all the women raised the heavy trays in synchrony, made of bread and flowers, evoking the Holy Spirit. With one gesture, they symbolize the way this vibrant party, filled with colour, is made with the effort of a community.”


Pictures by Maria Alice Samara and Paula Godinho.

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