Festivals, Fairs and Pilgrimages
The Sant’Iago Fair, which is over 400 years old, is the region’s main festival and one of the largest fairs in southern Portugal.
Companies and institutions are present, and traditional artisan crafts are available to buy.
Entertainment is provided by various performers in an exciting show programme.
When: the last week of July and the first week of August
Where: Sant’Iago Park (Manteigadas)
Celebrating St. Gabriel
These festivities are characterised by shows, artisan crafts, painting, and the election of “Miss Colectividades” on the last day of the celebrations.
When: beginning of June
Where: St. Gabriel Ring
Festival of Our Lady of the Rosary of Tróia
The decorated boat parade between Setúbal and the Tróia Peninsula is the ceremony of the Festival of Our Lady of the Rosary of Tróia.
After a mass honouring the fallen mariners in the St. Sebastian Church, the worshippers cross the Sado in decorated boats and head towards Tróia. On the first night, a candle-lit procession is held along the beach.
As well as religious ceremonies, there is also an evening get-together with dances and parties. The Decorated Boat Contest begins on the second day of celebrations in Tróia.
When: during the second fortnight of August
A food festival where residents and visitors come together and enjoy live music.
Where: Escarpas de Santos Nicolau
Festival of Our Lady of Arrábida (New Pilgrimage in Setúbal)
A festival involving fishermen and mariners from the Tróino district in honour of their patron saint. In the past, the celebrations started on Friday with bands that went through the city announcing the beginning of the Festival. On Saturday, the boats sailed towards the convent. Religious celebrations took place on Sunday and the boats returned on Monday in a maritime procession. The time spent in the convent was joyous, with snacks and singing challenges and dances that lasted all night. Nowadays, the celebrations only last one day and the procession is held on land.
When: beginning of July
St. Simon Festivals
This event combines a variety of food stands, traditional artisan crafts and fantastic musical entertainment.
Where: Brejos de Azeitão
Festival of Our Lady of Good Health
Initially only religious in nature, these festivals, which have been celebrated for over 285 years, began to have a secular aspect from the 19th century. Nowadays, the Lady of Good Health festivals retain much of the authenticity of festivals from the past – the mass and procession, the church fête, the bandstand where bands perform and the “cavalhadas” (traditional Portuguese celebrations recreating medieval tournaments and battles).
When: the first week of September
Where: Vila Fresca de Azeitão
Arrábida and Azeitão Festivals
Concerts, exhibitions, food and drink and regional artisan crafts characterise this festival which attracts thousands of people to the main square of Azeitão.
Where: Rossio de Azeitão
Mourisca Tide Mill Festival
Despite being a relatively recent celebration, it is already one of the largest events for culture, sport, religion and gastronomy in the Municipality.
When: the last weekend of August
Festival os St. Louis of the Mountain
The first festival in the calendar of ancient Setúbal pilgrimages and “círios” (traditional Portuguese pilgrimages in which candles are taken to a shrine). The celebrations of this saint – patron of the Serra da Arrábida shepherds – were an opportunity for a joyful get-together among shepherds, villagers and seafarers. The festival has also retained some aspects from ancient times, including the church fête, picnics and traditional games.
When: The Sunday following Easter Sunday
Where: Serra de S. Luís
Festival os St. Peter of Alcube
These religious festivals take place at “Aldeia Grande” (a village), and have been celebrated for over 100 years.
When: the last fortnight of July
Lord of Bonfim Festival
This marked the beginning of the working season, where fishermen and mariners asked their patron saint for protection against danger and blessing for successful fishing. The highlight of this prominently religious festival are pictures of the Lord of Bonfim, Our Lady of Arrábida and Our Lady of the Rosary of Tróia – the protective saints of two ancient fishing communities in Setúbal (Fontainhas and Tróino), held in the procession which heads to the port where the fishing boats are blessed.
When: the first weekend in May